Rehabilitation within the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Gardens, South Africa: A review of the Kingfisher Lake habitat enhancement, rehabilitation monitoring indicators and citizen science

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Megan Grewcock

Publication Date:

The KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, is a green escape within an urban jungle. Within the Gardens is Kingfisher Lake, which was built in the 1980s and quickly became overwhelmed by sediment in the early 2000s. This was largely as a consequence of the extensive forestry and urban developments that have mobilised large volumes of sediment within the catchment. GroundTruth, appointed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), created a remediation plan, involving the dredging of Kingfisher Lake and the enhancement of the upstream wetland habitat. The enhancement of the wetland habitat looked to encourage the deposition of sediments to ultimately reduce the frequency of dredging of the Lake. Following the completion of the rehabilitation, ongoing monitoring has been undertaken to measure the response of the system. Indicators such as vegetation response, water turbidity, and Dragonfly Biotic Index (DBI) were used to measure fluctuations in the system’s functioning and condition. The location of the rehabilitation site within a publicly accessible area has increased opportunities for public participation. School groups have visited the rehabilitation site and learned about wetland rehabilitation and ecosystem monitoring using miniSASS, DBI, and water clarity tubes. The Gardens include a large number of opportunities for the incorporation of citizens into the ongoing monitoring of the site through the introduction and application of citizen science tools. An investment into public awareness on this project may encourage the continued collection of monitoring data, whilst enhancing the relationship between the community and its ecological environment.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration