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Great Karoo

Nama Karoo ecoregion

WWF AT1314

Map
Also see the West Coast Karoo

The Nama Karoo is also known as the Great Karoo and covers the plateau to the west of the Highveld grassland, and north of the Little Karoo.

Karoo ecoregion Fynbos West Coast Karoo Knysna forests East Coast Belt Karoo Maputaland-Pondoland bushland Drakensberg Highveld grassland Mangorves Forests of northern Kwazulu-Natal Bushveld Kalahari

Location

The region covers the central plateau of the Cape Province and extends over the Orange River into Namibia in the northwest.

Elevation

The Great Karoo is divided into two regions which by the Great Escarpment which lies about 100 km to 200 km inland from the West Coast. The higher parts elevate to 900 - 1'300 m, the lower parts to 550 m - 900 m.

Area

351'100 square kilometers

Rivers and pans

Nature Reserves

Nature Reserves found in this ecoregion are:

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Climate

Droughts are common in this harsh climate. Seasonal and daily temperatures fluctuate considerably.

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Geology

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Vegetation

Dwarf shrubs (chaemaphytes) and grasses (hemicryptophytes) dominate the region. There are 2'147 species of which 377 are endemic.

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Mammals

There are few strict endemics in the region and only a few species occur here.

Extinct

No longer happening

During the mid- to late-1800s European travelers and colonists reported game migrations numbering millions across the Nama Karoo. One account recalls a herd taking three days to pass through a small town. These animals are not extinct, but this migratory path no longer exists due to hunting and fences. Springbok were the most numerous.

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Birds

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Reptiles

There are 10 near-endemic species.

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