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Is the present Brackenridgea Nature Reserve large enough to ensure the survival of Brackenridgea zanguebarica Oliv.?

Milingoni P. Tshisikhawe, Magaretha W. van Rooyen, Jerome Y. Gaugris

Koedoe; Vol 55, No 1 (2013), 5 pages. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v55i1.1072

Submitted: 01 February 2012
Published:  04 September 2013


The Brackenridgea Nature Reserve is a 110 ha protected area established by the provincial Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism as a way of protecting the population of Brackenridgea zanguebarica, a species classified as critically endangered in South Africa. In the whole of South Africa, the species is found in only one small area around Thengwe–Mafukani in Venda. It is threatened with extirpation due to high demand for its medicinal bark. This study investigated the adequacy of the reserve to conserve the species using a method established in 2001 by Burgman et al. This method involves 12 steps to quantify the risk of the decline or possible extinction of the species and takes current human activities, disturbances and the viability of the population into consideration for setting a conservation target. From the results, it was clear that more area is needed for the current population to survive beyond 50 years. Assuming the status quo, it will require 410 ha to maintain the population, whereas a 50% reduction in human-related activities, such as cultivation, harvesting and livestock grazing, will lower the required potential habitat to 203 ha and a conservation option, which allows for bark harvesting, will require 179 ha.


Conservation implications: The results of this study will have conservation implication on management of viable species population within a nature reserve. It will require managers to take into consideration the reserve size in relation to potential habitats for the development of species under their management.

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Author affiliations

Milingoni P. Tshisikhawe, Department of Botany, University of Venda, South Africa
Magaretha W. van Rooyen, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jerome Y. Gaugris, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Conservation; extinction; local tribal authority; Nature reserve


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ISSN: 0075-6458 (print) | ISSN: 2071-0771 (online)

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