Overview of Project
Id and Species Lists
Interim Dist. Maps
The Use of Protea Atlas Data
"Who is using Protea Atlas
Data? Is all the data we are producing of some use? What will be
done with the data when we are finished?"
Not only is the data of use, but it is
being used now.
- We get queries for data from
students who want to know where they can find a species
to torture somewhere within a limited budget's distance
of the university or one of their parents' holiday
houses, and artists who want plants in flower nearby.
- We have had requests for Afrikaan's
common names for some developer's streets, for lists of
species for specific areas by conservation officials,
tourism agents and Environmental Impact Assessment
consultants. State and Parastatal Departments have
requested data for specific species to develop catchment
management plans and plan alien clearing programmes.
- Our data have been used in
designing a Biosphere reserve system on the West Coast
adjacent the Langebaan National Park, and for assessing
conservation priorities within the Cape Town Metropolitan
- Of all the requests for data,
perhaps the Masters and PhD students have the most
bizzare requests. Examples include: "Where can I
find Ls conocarpodendron growing with and without Mi
fimbriifolius?", "I am driving to Mossel Bay -
where will I find closely-related Protea species growing
together along the route?" or "I need areas
where a common and a rare protea co-occur in extensive
areas and - nearby - in small patches of veld containing
less than 5 plants".
- But we do not stop with providing
data. Training is an essential part of our services to
atlassers. In this regard Protea Atlassing is ideal: it
includes elements of Mapwork, Plant Identification,
Natural History Observation and Filling in forms. These
are essential elements in producing well-rounded Field
Rangers and Conservation Officers. It is thus not
unexpected that we have been giving courses on atlassing
to both Cape Nature Conservation and the High Altitude
Team in the RDP Working for Water programme.
- But we do not stop there. In
addition to protea data, atlassers also note other plants
en route. Thus some interesting Erica and bulb
discoveries have been made.
- We have also collected specimens
for DNA analysis. Horticulturists from Kirstenbosch and
scientists from overseas have accompanied us on our field
trips to learn more about the flora, to collect plants
and to choose study sites.
- Reserve managers, rangers and film
crews have consulted us regarding locations of rare and
exciting plants and their flowering times.
- And lastly, (but not least) we
provide a service to atlassers. Want to plan a trip and
not certain where to go? Tired of just walking and
atlassing and want a problem to solve? We provide species
lists and queries, maps and ideas. Just contact or visit