Because of its high soil fertility, it is probable that all the herds of large game in the Fynbos Biome occurred in Renosterveld. Thus Mountain Zebra, Quagga, Bluebuck, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Bontebok, Elephant, Black Rhino and Buffalo were common, as were Lion, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Spotted Hyena and Leopard. Two of these only ever occurred within the Fynbos Biome, namely Bluebuck and Bontebok. Of these large mammals, only the Mountain Zebra and Leopard survived (by fleeing to the mountains), with the Bontebok just surviving near Bredasdorp. All the other species became extinct within the Fynbos Biome although some have been reintroduced into conservation areas from outside the region. The Quagga and Bluebuck are extinct.

This high soil fertility has meant that most of the area has been converted to agriculture. Less than 5% of West Coast Renosterveld remains with other Renosterveld types also heavily depleted by agriculture and urban development. It seems unlikely that viable populations of large mammals will ever be reintroduced into the FynbosBiome for this reason.

Many animal species are dependant on the existence of Renosterveld habitat. The precarious state of the geometric tortoise which only occurs in this veld type is just one example. To complicate matters at least a quarter of the remaining Renosterveld is infested with invasive alien plants. Eucalyptus, Wattles, Poplars and Pine species are notable. Besides their invasive action these species drain the area of valuable water which makes their eradication essential.

Renosterveld is still home to various species of mammals, reptiles and birds.
A list of the various species found within the conservancy:

Mammals: Reptiles:
Caracal
Cape Grysbok
Grey Duiker
Steenbok
Porcupine
Cape Clawless Otter
Bat-eared Fox
Cape Fox
Cape Hare
Small Spotted Genet
Grey Mongoose
Water Mongoose
Tortoises
Mole Snake
Cape Cobra
Skaapsteker
Cape Dwarf Chameleon
Cape Girdled Lizard
Various Agamas
Click here to view photos taken of the Botttelary Renosterveld. Oom Stewie Smit is the heart and soul of the Bottelary Hills. Click here to read more about him.

View a list of birds spotted in the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy. Click here.

Copyright 2008 Bottelary Conservancy