Knysna Estuary – Jewel of the Garden Route book


Three things set this book apart. First, the scope spans from the deep-time origins of the system to the modern world. It opens with five chapters that introduce the system, deal with early human use, palaeontology, physical development and nature, and its role as the meeting place between river and sea. Pivotal is the fact that towering on either side of the mouth are the twin rocky headlands that stabilise the estuary, so that much of it is dominated by tidal exchange. Second, the estuary has a rich scientific literature; but these papers are not accessible to the average person, so this synthesis is welcome. The book is written by renowned experts but in a communicative style that will be a joy for all to read. Thirdly, it is liberally illustrated, increasing the pleasure of the read and capturing its beauty and wonder. Four chapters deal with the plants and algae, invertebrates, the fishes and the water birds, and the book then concludes with the effects of climate change, the complexities of management, and the way forward.

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Knysna Estuary — It’s hard to avoid superlatives: South Africa’s most biologically diverse estuary; the most important for conservation; jewel; rich in history and prehistory; exquisitely beautiful; heaven on earth.

The contents of the various chapters of this book are written by experts in their field, most with a strong knowledge and direct research experience of the Knysna Estuary. The aim throughout is to enable and encourage readers to appreciate life within the estuary, understand its structure and functioning, and empower people to communicate its value and conservation importance from an informed position.

Just as rarity is one of the most prized qualities of a gemstone, so it is that the unique nature the Knysna Estuary affords it singular importance in the Garden Route and to South Africa. In this book we introduce readers to the multifaceted nature of the Knysna Estuary and how the biotic and abiotic components function together as a system.

Proceeds accrue to the Knysna Basin Project, a tax 18a certificate can be issued on request.


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