Goegap Nature Reserve is a provincial nature reserve (22 832 ha) located south east of Springbok in the Northern Cape. It falls within the Succulent Karoo Biome. The first long term line transects were established in 1974, followed by several additional transects in the 1990’s and 2000’s. The initial purpose of the surveys was to monitor vegetation change after the land use changed (from livestock farming to protected area), however it is now used to monitor the impact of wildlife grazing on vegetation over time. SAEON, together with the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation and the University of Pretoria, conducts field surveys annually to monitor vegetation change. A paper analysing the results of 40 years of monitoring was published in 2015 (Van Rooyen, et al.)

The key findings were:

• Species composition and cover improved over the 40 years once land was released from heavy livestock grazing

• High wildlife numbers affect vegetation and highlights the fact that wildlife numbers should be regulated

(Photo: Noel Van Rooyen)