Montane grasslands

Montane grasslands: These occur predominantly in the Highveld. Montane grasslands historically covered 46% of the country’s land.

  • Significance: Montane grasslands area are home to 72% of the country’s endemic flora, the only endemic vertebrate and also the highest proportion of the country’s threatened plant and animal species. Montane grasslands provide valuable ecosystem services including food, medicinal plants and grazing lands. Watersheds for most rivers arising within the country originate within this ecosystem.
  • Status: The area of Montane grassland in a natural state has been reduced in extent by 25%. Only 2% of this ecosystem is under formal protection. An additional 4% is informally protected.
  • Threats: The ecosystem is threatened by:
    • Erosion
    • Agricultural expansion,
    • Alien invasive plant species
    • Unsustainable grazing and,
    • Unsustainable resource harvesting.