Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo: A Scientific Assessment of the Opportunities and Risks
Chapter 7: Biodiversity and Ecological Impacts: Landscape Processes, Ecosystems and Species
Author: Stephen Holness, Amanda Driver
Contributing Authors: Simon Todd, Kate Snaddon, Michelle Hamer, Domitilla Raimondo, Fahiema Daniels
Publication: The CSIR led a large interdisciplinary team to analyse the potential impacts of shale gas mining on the Karoo.
Nature of the study area and shale gas development (SGD) impacts
1. The study area includes relatively high levels of biodiversity, including highly sensitive and unique ecosystems and -species. Seven different biomes and 58 vegetation types, 119 range- restricted plant species, and 12 globally threatened animal species have been recorded from the study area. See Section 7.1.3: Special features of Karoo ecology and biodiversity.
2. The Karoo is an arid ecosystem characterised by ecological processes that operate over extensive areas. In addition, the Karoo is sensitive to disturbance, and disturbance has long-term impacts; recovery in disturbed areas is generally not spontaneous and rehabilitation is often met with poor success. See Section 7.1.3: Special features of Karoo ecology and biodiversity.
This document, as well as the full CSIR report can be accessed at http://seasgd.csir.co.za/scientific-assessment-chapters/