Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 14 November 2010
The City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch has, thanks to inputs from members of the public, reached a preliminary conclusion on its research into the status of the Cape rinkhals.
The rinkhals, a cobra-like snake which derives its name from the crossbars on its throat, was previously believed to be locally extinct in the Cape Town area.
In September this year the City asked the public to report any rinkhals sightings that they may have had in the past decade in order to assist the Biodiversity Management Branch in their research into this important species. From the tremendous response from the public it has become clear that the rinkhals is in fact still present in parts of Cape Town and its surrounds, albeit in relatively low numbers.
No records have yet been reported from sites previously known to be occupied by the rinkhals. However, sightings from the east of the City in areas such as Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay have uncovered a number of individual snakes, which confirms their existence within the metropolitan boundary.
Additional evidence suggests that there may be populations in areas of the Cape Peninsula which have not received much previous documentation. A number of sightings have been received from areas in and around the Table Mountain National Park and north along the West Coast towards Mamre. These records, although accurate in description, have yet to be confirmed through photographic evidence.
Capetonians are requested to continue to support the research by forwarding any further rinkhals sightings, preferably with photographs and GPS coordinates, to:
Tel: 021 851 6982
Cell: 084 328 1001
Source: City of Cape Town