Local artists created a 50 times larger-than-life Critically Endangered Barber’s Cape Flats Ranger Butterfly sculpture to raise awareness.
Muizenberg, South Africa (22 June 2021) – Fynbos LIFE – Locally Indigenous Flora Education – is a non-profit working to save beautiful flora in South Africa. In just the Western Cape, there are 21 of South Africa’s Critically Endangered national vegetation types.
They have been working at the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve to help boost the Critically Endangered Barber’s Cape Flats Ranger Butterfly population. There are only around 50 to 100 in the wild near Strandfontein. There are plans in the works to save this species, but until then, Fynbos LIFE decided to use art to raise awareness.
Fynbos LIFE managed to get a donation of spear grass which is the host plant for the butterfly’s eggs and caterpillars. They planted the grass at the Strandveld Circle, which will serve as a future receptor site.
As part of the artistic awareness, the Zandvlei Trust sponsored the creation of 50 times larger than life butterfly sculpture as well as signage to share the message of the butterfly’s plight.
“The magnificent sculpture was created by the very talented local Muizies artist Angela Mac Pherson and her team: Orland Kavhai, Sean Mac Pherson, Monwabisi Dasi, Joshua Brauer, McNiel, Thumelo & Thoriso Kuena, Sarah Sun and LJ Wolfaardt. Thank you for this work of your hearts, which is highlighting the plight of Cape Town’s threatened lowland wildlife.
We also thank the heroes at the Zandvlei Trust for sponsoring both the butterfly signage and sculpture and the City of Cape Town Biodiversity Management and CTEET for donating most of the spear grass. 🌾
We have named the butterfly sculpture ‘Tubutubu’, which means ‘butterfly’ in Kora, the lost Khoi language of the early Cape. A tribute to our local cultural and natural heritage which we’re losing too fast.” – Fynbos LIFE
The Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is a 300ha nature reserve and recreational area located in Cape Town. The estuary enters the ocean from the suburb of Muizenberg. It is the only functioning estuary on Cape Town’s False Bay coast. It supports life in so many ways and plays a vital role in preserving the environment.
“It is also one of the most important estuaries for recruitment of fish such as Garrick, Steenbras and two species of Stumpnose. The surrounding wetland is an important habitat for birds and has 166 species on its official list. It is also a vital habitat for amphibians and about 20 species of reptile such as the Angulate Tortoise, Marsh Terrapin, Mole Snake and Brown Water Snake.
Porcupines, Grysbok, Otters and Mongoose can also occasionally be spotted. The plant life is typical of Cape Flats Dune Strandveld and Cape Wetland vegetation. Rare or interesting plants include Gladiolus Angustus and Salvia africana-lutea.” – Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
Volunteers and donors have worked tirelessly to restore the estuary to its former glory. The area was riddled with alien vegetation. If you are in need of outdoor activities and keen to help raise awareness, you can visit Zandvlei and go see the incredible sculptures.
Take a look at the sculptures below.