Understanding Cape Town's biodiversity

Cape Town is abundantly rich in biological diversity and recognised around the world for its natural beauty. The city is located within the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), part of the Greater Floristic Region biogeographical unit, as indicated in Map 1. The most biologically diverse of the six plant kingdoms, the Cape Floristic Region is also recognised as one of the planet’s 25 most-threatened ecosystems. The region is home to 9 600 plant species, of which over 70% are found nowhere else in the world.

With such a unique plant kingdom both within the urban fabric and around the outskirts of Cape Town, the City of Cape Town has the complex task of managing this important natural heritage resource. This rich biodiversity must be conserved and integrated into present and future spatial planning of the city.

Over two thirds of the natural vegetation types in the city are classified as endangered or critically endangered. Over 300 of Cape Town’s plant species are threatened with global extinction.