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Save the Riverine rabbit

Highly Endangered Riverine Rabbit

Conservancies in the Great Karoo
can save the riverine rabbit!

A conservancy is an area established by a voluntary agreement between landowners or land users to manage the environment. It is a national strategy whereby conservation objectives are achieved through commitment and cooperation.

The riverine rabbit is the most endangered mammal in South Africa. This nocturnal browser's habitat is restricted to deep silt flood plains of seasonal Karoo rivers - and is found nowhere else in the world. The riverine rabbit rarely lives longer than three years and only raises an estimated four offspring during its lifetime.

The destruction and fragmentation of habitats pose severe threats for the future of this extremely rare rabbit. Favourite foods such as the river ganna have been cleared to make way for crops. Nowhere does any of its natural habitat fall within any formal protected area.

The survival of this species depends on the landowners that participate in a network of conservancies to conserve the remaining habitats and form an extended riverine rabbit conservation area.

Riverine Rabbit - Distribution Map


  • ecosystems, like river systems, will be conserved leading to an increase in wildlife
  • significant riverine habitats are established and managed
  • the environment is managed by a partnership, to the benefit of all parties
  • conservation issues and developments are handled more effectively
  • costs for essential conservation activities are shared
  • environmental awareness increases

To form a conservancy, invite all interested parties to a meeting. Ask the local nature conservator or spokespeople from established conservancies to facilitate the meeting and share relevant information. Form a steering committee to get the ball rolling.

Are you interested to know more about the riverine rabbit? Would you like to be part of an effort to save this species? Would your neighbours be interested? Could a body of landowners that join forces for conservation benefit you in more than one way? If YES, please contact us!

Conservancy Logo Cape Nature Conservation
Area Manager: Klein Karoo 044 - 874 2160
Project Coordinator: 044 - 279 1739
E-mail: kknatser@mweb.co.za
Website: www.capenature.org.za

Northern Cape Nature Conservation Services
Regional Manager: 027 - 341 1779
E-mail: leon@natuur.ncape.gov.za

Source: Cape Nature Conservation

  Article Date: 20 July 2004


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The Oudtshoorn district possessed 80 000 ostriches in 1904, rising to 110 000 in 1911.

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