MAKULEKE RAMSAR WETLANDS
A Wetland of International Importance
The Makuleke Wetlands are an excellent example of a floodplain vlei type, most of which lies within the Kruger National Park, bordered by Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the north and east.
Prominent features include riverine forests, riparian floodplain forests, floodplain grasslands, river channels and flood pans. Flood pans are depressions in the floodplains and are intermittently filled from floods and rains – they are of great importance in this ecosystem as they hold water right into the dry season, and act as a refuge point for wildlife and waterbirds during both winter and summer months, There are 31 of these flood pans found on these floodplains, where pods of hippos are found.
The floodplains attenuate flooding, resulting in reduced flood damage in downstream areas of Mozam-bique, and are important for groundwater recharge, and maintain riparian and floodplain vegetation. In the Makuleke region of the National Park there is an attempt to harmonise biodiversity protection with the interests of rural dwellers through co-operation between the Community Property Association of Makuleke community, South African National Parks Board, and many government departments.
The proclamation of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) in 2002 through an international treaty between South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe aims at jointly managing the bordering National Parks and conservation areas, and the Ramsar Site will benefit from that protection status.
Ramsar site no. 1687.
Extracted from: http://www.ramsar.org
THE IMPORTANCE OF WETLANDS
Wetland ecosystems in a landscape
are like kidneys in our human bodies
– they play a vital role in sustaining
healthy lives of people.
Our wetlands are vital for purifying
water and regulating water flows,
thus acting as sponges that store
water and release it slowly,
filtering pollutants and easing
the impact of droughts and
floods in the process.
Declared as South
Africa’s 18th Ramsar
site on 22 June 2007