UNESCO World Heritage Site of Global Significance
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary is situated within the vast Barberton Nature Reserve complex, covering 28,000 hectares with plans to expand to 80,000 hectares. This reserve, along with its surrounding regions, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its exceptional universal value to humanity. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains contain a diverse and well-preserved sequence of ancient volcanic and sedimentary rocks, providing valuable insights into the origins of life and early conditions of our planet.
Rich Geological History
The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains are home to rocks that date back 3.5 billion years, making it a unique source of information about the Earth's early history. The rocks offer unparalleled insights into the surface processes that occurred during the Earth's formation, leading to the development of a primitive biosphere. The region is crucial in understanding the origins of life on Earth.
The Barberton Nature Reserve is renowned for its rich geology and soil minerals, leading to the growth of an incredibly diverse range of plant species. The reserve is part of the Barberton Centre of Plant Endemism, with 80 identified endemic species. The reserve is also located in an area with the second-highest known plant species diversity in Southern Africa. The reserve's biodiversity is rated highly in the provincial Biodiversity Conservation Plan, with most areas being scored as Irreplaceable, Highly Significant, or Important & Necessary.
The entirety of the Barberton Nature Reserve has been placed on the national list of ecosystems that are threatened and in need of protection. This includes the Noordkaap Greenstone Bushveld and Legogote Sour Bushveld ecosystems, which make up the majority of the reserve.
Climate Change Refugium
Part of the reserve is considered the most crucial refugium in Mpumalanga province concerning the climate change response of certain threatened plant species. Although the extent of the regional refugium identified in the Barberton mountains appears to be small, it is an essential regional refugium. This region has the highest number of conservation-important plant species showing decline.
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary serves as a vital conservation effort to preserve the entire ecosystem, including the rhinos. Our location within a UNESCO World Heritage Site emphasizes the global significance of our work in safeguarding our planet's rich geological history and biodiversity for future generations.