It has been declared by the United Nations that Cape Town is the most biodiverse city in the world.

Thomas Elmqvist, Swedish expert in natural resource management and leader of the UN’s City and Biodiversity Outlook project, recently awarded the city of Cape Town this prestigious title on behlaf of the United Nations.

More than 83 species of mammals, 3000 species of plants and 361 species of birds may be found on this southern tip of Africa, making it indeed the world’s most biodiverse city.

As quoted by The Guardian, the Western Cape contains 50% of all mammal species in South Africa. Baboons, ostriches and zebras, live in Table Mountain National Park, while whales, seals and otters swim off its shores. This assessment formed part of The Guardian’s Cities project, which saw Cape Town take the lead with Sao Paulo in Brazil and Mexico City in Mexico ranking after.

We live in a truly special place, but sadly our great biodiversity is under threat due to rapid urbanisation and a growing human population – which has increased by more than 30% since 2011, 318 types of plants, 22 types of birds and 24 types of animals are in danger of extinction.

 

Photography Beverley Klein

Article written by

Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When Justin's not covering a story, he can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and is currently learning herbalism.