Cape Nature has acquired five farms covering an area of 12 800 hectares which will link the Anysberg and Swartberg nature reserves. The new reserve is called the Grand Canyon and will be 215 000 hectares in total. The land was bought by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) with money from the Leslie-Hill Succulent Karoo Trust and is home to many rare succulent plants.
Leopards will now be able to walk free for 300km unhindered by fences and roads in one continuos protected nature reserve.
Grand Canyon was initially used mostly for livestock and lucerne cultivation. One of the greatest threats to wildlife populations is habit fragmentation brought about by agriculture or urban development. Landscape corridors like the one created through the formation of this new reserve, restores landscape connectivity and aids the survival of many species by increasing their home ranges, food and connecting fragments and isolated animal and plant populations.