Endangered western leopard toad threatened by an invasive look-alike.

Endangered western leopard toad threatened by an invasive look-alike.

Endangered western leopard toad threatened by an invasive look-alike, public urged to help.

Cape Town – The discovery of the invasive guttural toad species on a property near Seascape Road in Noordhoek has set off alarm bells in conservation circles, who fear the invader species might hinder the livelihood of the endangered western leopard toad that is endemic to the area.

Noordhoek is one of the most important traditional breeding areas of the endemic and endangered western leopard toad (Sclerophrys pantherinus), a close relative of the more common guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis).

Guttural toads and leopard toads look very similar to the untrained eye, and the identification of eggs and tadpoles (which look almost identical even to professionals) is particularly difficult.

But the City of Cape Town and are urging residents to be on the lookout for the guttural toad nonetheless, in a bit to save the natural habitat and breeding grounds of its more endangered relative.

 

The main differences between the two species are:

The City’s service provider, NCC Environmental Services, who currently run the guttural control programme in Constantia, will now also focus on the Noordhoek area.

NCC will also work closely with Toad Nuts, a local group formed to protect and save the western leopard toad.

Residents are urged to listen for the distinctive guttural toad call and to report the occurrence immediately by sending an e-mail to gutturaltoad@ncc-group.co.za

 

The City also asks residents never to move any toad, tadpole or eggs between water bodies.

Johan van der Merwe for the environmental affairs of the City of Cape Town says the western leopard toad and guttural toad do not co-exist naturally and “this situation may cause several complications. These may include competition for food, predation, and the introduction of external diseases and pathogens. Hybridisation could also be a potential threat.

“Following this early detection of the guttural toads in Noordhoek, there must be a rapid response by conservation authorities, the Invasive Species Unit and residents. If all the individuals, tadpoles and eggs can be found during this early stage of the invasion, guttural toads can be removed from Noordhoek completely.

“The survival of the endemic western leopard toad depends on access to uninvaded breeding grounds such as Noordhoek. The advance of the guttural toad must, therefore, be stopped before guttural toads become established and form a viable breeding population in Noordhoek,” Van der Merwe says.

It is not just the frogs themselves that can create problems, but the diseases and parasites that accompany the frogs may cause further environmental harm.

Once the invasion of guttural toads into Noordhoek is past the early detection and rapid response stage, control becomes extremely challenging and expensive.

This has already happened in Constantia, where an intensive five-year-old control programme has been unable to stop the spread of guttural toads into Bishopscourt. The City’s service provider, NCC Environmental Services, continues to fight the toad in the area.

Although the guttural toad is indigenous to South Africa, it does not naturally occur in the Western Cape.

Invasive species such as the guttural toad are introduced to areas outside their natural range either deliberately or accidentally. The likely scenario for an accidental introduction is that nursery plants were moved from the area where guttural toads naturally occur to Cape Town. Once they arrived at their new habitat, they reproduced and established the colonies that are now invading many water bodies in Constantia and Bishopscourt.

It could also be the case that well-meaning residents who do not want to harm animals but also don’t want them in their gardens, physically relocate toads to natural areas around the city. This is a highly problematic practice and causes havoc for nature conservation officials.

The most effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent them from being introduced to areas outside their natural distribution range in the first place.

This article has been adapted from traveler24.com,  – Louzel Lombard

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Norval Foundation + Steenberg Wines: Members’ Benefits

Norval Foundation + Steenberg Wines: Members’ Benefits

What a good idea!  Enjoy an unforgettable wine-and-art pairing in the Constantia Valley – plus a host of other perks.

In the heart of the Constantia Winelands, where vineyards and mountains converge, lies the world-class Norval Foundation, a centre for contemporary African art. Home to a modern bistro, striking sculpture garden and ever-changing exhibitions from international artists, the museum also happens to lie next door to Steenberg Wines, where a host of other exciting pursuits await.

And now, until end-April 2020, the two feted establishments are joining forces to offer a membership deal that is simply too good to pass up – particularly if art and wine are your things.

Read more at The Inside Guide

Curated content for eNeighbourhoods sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

New CT municipal bylaw amendment good news for landlords

New CT municipal bylaw amendment good news for landlords

Once promulgated in the Provincial Gazette, new municipal bylaw amendments by the City of Cape Town will allow “short-term letting from a house or flat for a period not exceeding 30 consecutive days for the same guest”.

Johette Smuts from PayProp says that while the amendments might mean an increase in rental in an already expensive city centre, the announcement is great news for landlords, and potentially positive for rental agents too.

“Previously, only single residential houses had the right to provide short-term letting (with the correct zoning). Body corporates, HOAs and other governing bodies retained control of short-term letting according to their own rules,” says Smuts.

Longer-term letting options may decrease

While Airbnb believes that this bylaw complements their model and has the ability to boost tourism in Cape Town, it could mean that the number of flats available for longer-term letting will decrease, as landlords can increase their income when focusing on more expensive short-term lettings.

Smuts says that for long-term rentals, a higher rental income means that agents have the ability to earn more commission on each property within their portfolio if the commission percentage stays the same.

“With the new bylaw amendments, some landlords might decide to rather rent their properties out on a short-term basis, without necessarily realising how much work it could be,” says Smuts. She recommends that agents take the opportunity to expand their service offering in response to this, and build on the established relationships they already hold with their landlords.

“Depending on the agent’s proximity to the property, some of the additional services that you’d be able to offer include key-collection and drops during certain times, organising reliable cleaning services, or even just putting out fresh flowers,” says Smuts.

“Even if a landlord decides to leave, always remain professional and deliver outstanding service. If they change their mind, you want their return business, after all!”

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See also:

Short Term Letting in Sectional Title

Local Beaches Awarded Blue Flag Status

Local Beaches Awarded Blue Flag Status

Ten Cape Town beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for the upcoming summer season.

Blue Flag is an international accreditation awarded to beaches that display excellence through meeting 33 criteria covering four categories: environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.

Bikini Beach in Gordons Bay, Camps Bay, Clifton Fourth Beach, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Melkbosstrand, Mnandi, Muizenberg, Silwerstroomstrand and Strandfontein ticked the boxes and were awarded Blue Flag Status.

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Source: Constantiaberg Bulletin

Three Bedroom House

Three Bedroom House

R1,585,000 | FOR SALE IN LAKESIDE

Ideal Family Home in Lakeside

Welcome Home!

Situated in a sought-after complex in Lakeside, this lock up and go, three bedroomed home is ideal for either a young family or someone who is scaling down.

Open plan kitchen to lounge/dining room area. Main bedroom en-suite has laminated flooring, built-in cupboards and looks out onto the garden.

The two remaining bedrooms also have laminated flooring and built-in cupboards and share a family bathroom.

Small secluded garden with a ‘wendy’ house. The unit has parking for two cars directly in front of the home.
Close to Woolworths and other local amenities as well as to Kirstenhof Primary School.

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The Oldest Domestic Residential Building in South Africa

The Oldest Domestic Residential Building in South Africa

How many times have you driven past this property?  Did you know it is the oldest domestic residential building in South Africa built in 1673, in the Main Road, Muizenberg, known as De Post Huys.


HET POSTHUYS MUSEUM is one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, dating to circa 1742. It was built by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) as a toll-house to levy a tax on farmers passing by to sell their produce to ships lying in Simon’s Bay. One of the early postholders was Sergeant Muys (meaning “mouse”), from whom Muizenberg (formerly Muysenbergh and Muys Zijn Bergh (Muys’ mountain) before that) gets its name.

After a varied career as a police station, stables, brothel, hotel and private house the building was identified for what it was in the 1980s and restored with funds from Anglo American Corporation. The house is cared for by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society and contains a small collection of photos and items of interest relating to early days in Muizenberg. It is open to the public.

Main Road, Muizenberg. First mapped in 1687; served as a look-out post for enemy ships entering False Bay. Later uses include preventing contraband trading, a storage place for naval goods, an ale and eating house, and a private residence. Anglo-American restored it in 1982-1983. It is run by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society. On-site is a video tracing its layered history.

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Are you looking to buy or sell something in the Lakeside area?  Contact Cathy Goosen for assistance.