Identification of priority regions for animal conservation in afforestable montane grasslands of the northern Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Large-scale afforestation with pines is taking place in montane grasslands of South Africa. Many species dependent on the grass sward will be eliminated from the planted areas. Land should be maintained as conservation areas to ensure the long-term survival of the wildlife within the afforestable region. Ten land types, defined by combinations of classes of geology, altitude and rainfall, were sampled in the afforestable part of the Maclear district, Eastern Cape Province. Areas of five land types are required in a network of conservation areas to protect all the montane-endemic grasshopper, butterfly and bird species recorded. The addition of a sixth land type to this set of five would protect 93.8% of all the taxa considered. Regions within which conservation areas should be situated are indicated at the district scale.