oa African Zoology - The birds of the alien Acacia thickets of the South-western Cape

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



About 1876, the Cape Superintendent of Plantations began using the Australian Acacia cyanophylla and A. cyclops on a large scale to fix the shifting sand dunes brought about by over-exploitation of the Cape Flats, between Table Mountain and the Hottentots HoIland Mountains (Roux 1961). These trees rapidly escaped from control and today they form dense thickets over much of the uncultivated land. Some of our bird species have succeeded in adapting themselves to this new habitat and, in particular, many have taken to feeding on the red arils of A. cyclops, whose spread has been accelerated by birds in consequence.

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