Fauna caught on camera

A caracal.

A grey mongoose, a porcupine, a caracal and a water mongoose were all captured over the Easter weekend by camera traps recently installed at Westlake Conservation Centre.

The City of Cape Town installed these camera traps to monitor fauna at the conservation centre during the lockdown.

Staff use the camera traps to monitor changes in fauna activity at Westlake, and there is currently a lot less human activity there because of lockdown.

The photographs are collated to determine the occurrence and species of fauna and to document trends over time. The locations of the camera traps are changed periodically. However sites along footpaths, animal tracks and roads are usually best suited. This forms part of the City’s long-term monitoring programme across all its protected areas.

The Westlake Conservation Centre is an important natural link to Table Mountain and has extensive wetlands. The area is home to two threatened and endemic vegetation types, the Cape Flats sand fynbos and peninsula granite fynbos.

More than 200 plant species have been recorded on site, including the endangered bulb, babiana villosula, and the vulnerable vygie, skiatophytum skiatophytoides.

It is also home to many bird species, with recent sightings of the honey buzzard and the brown-backed honeybird.

The conservation area is home to various mammals such as caracal, large-spotted genet, porcupine and water mongoose. Reptiles include molesnake, puffadder, Cape cobra; boomslang and an array of smaller snakes. Frogs found there include the endangered western leopard toad