African Crane Conservation Programme

Highveld Project

The Greater Lakenvlei Area lies between Dullstroom and Belfast and is important as it harbours all three of South Africa’s threatened crane species – the Grey Crowned Crane, the Wattled Crane and the Blue Crane – as well as other threatened species such as White-winged Flufftail. Lakenvlei is also a peatland, which is a wetland with a particularly high organic matter content that is good at storing and purifying water, as well as sequestering and storing carbon in a pristine state, critical to preventing additional impacts on climate change. In fact, peatlands host a third of the earth’s terrestrial carbon. Furthermore, the Lakenvlei wetlands provide crucial ecosystem services, including the ability to trap nitrates, regulate stream flow, maintain biodiversity, flood attenuation, carbon storage, and to prevent erosion due to good vegetation cover.

A Basic Broad-scale Assessment of Lakenvlei Wetlands and its Carbon Capacity: Draft Report click