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Meiringspoort - Fauna


BaboonBaboon

Meiringspoort forms part of the Swartberg Nature Reserve and private farms like Meijer rust and Varkenskraal.  

Animals vary from small rodents like field mice, to the shy cape leopard.

Dassies are found on the rocky slopes. In the water or close by you will find water mongoose. Klipspringers are found on higher slopes and kudu especially in the northern part of the Poort. At dusk or early morning you should be careful when driving in Meiringspoort because wildlife is abound. Baboons can be seen close to the road. You will also be able to see caracal, Cape clawless otter, grysbok or large spotted genet at daybreak or dusk.

The birds of Meiringspoort have totally adapted to the environment in which they live.

Birds to be seen: 

  • Cape bunting
  • Cape rock thrush
  • Cape wagtail
  • Lesser double-collared sunbird
  • Malachite sunbird
  • Black eagle
  • Rock pigeon
  • Cape turtledove
  • Laughing dove
  • Cape bulbul
  • Karoo pinia
  • Red-winged starling
  • Cape white-eye
  • Alpine swift
  • Greater striped swallows 

About 76 species of birds can be seen in Meiringspoort.

 

     
Cape wagtail   Greater striped swallow   Malachite sunbird   Cape white-eye
 Photo: wikimedia commons                               Photos: Bernard Dupont 

 

Cape kurperCape kurperThree species of fish can be found in the Grootrivier that runs through Meiringspoort. The Cape kurper and two scarce, endangered red fin species, the small- scaled red- finned minnow and the slender red-finned minnow.

No alien fish are to be found in the Poort. This is mainly to protect these three species.

Cape Kurper (drawing - Two Oceans Aquarium)

 

 

By Roland van Leeuwen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53978360By Roland van Leeuwen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53978360

Apart from dragonflies and a variety of butterflies, some of the world’s most interesting beetle species are also to be found on the higher peaks of Meiringspoort. The Colophon Stag beetles or Cape Stag beetles or Barnard’s Stag beetles are all endangered species in South Africa.

So if you see Colophon berrisfordi, cassoni or whitei please leave them alone!

 

One butterfly the Acraea horta species is common in Meiringspoort during spring and summer. Its larvae feed on the leaves of the wild peach (Kiggelaria africana) trees where they accumulate a poisonous substance (Cyanide).

This poison makes the mature butterflies unpalatable to most birds. The mature butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers (E.g. wild geranium – Pelargonium zonale) and pollinate them in the process. In the Swartberg above Meiringspoort you will also find Chrysoritis Pyranus balli or Ball’s Opal.

 

Acraea horta (male) Photo: Roland van Leeuwen 

  

FOLLOW THESE LINKS FOR INFORMATION ON  MEIRINGSPOORT'S 

GEOLOGY   FLORA    FAUNA   THE DRIFTS   THE GREAT WATERFALL 

 A BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR ALL PAGES CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

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