A window into the fascinating world of urban wildlife

Welcome to Wild Neighbours, an initiative focusing on urban wildlife in Cape Town. My vision for Wild Neighbours is to encourage an interest in the birds and mammals that live amongst us, and the growing imperative to live more consciously and considerately alongside nature in our city.

Increasingly around the globe our living world is becoming smaller, more fragile, and here, in this southern-most corner of our continent, we have a unique opportunity to live with consideration for the wildlife that still inhabit the Peninsula.

Remembering Jane Goodall’s heartfelt words “the least I can do is speak out for those creatures who cannot speak for themselves”, I share a message of connection to the creatures great and small who live alongside us.

Without doubt, life in the fairest Cape would be infinitely poorer without the presence of these animals, our wild neighbours. Just knowing that they are out there, living their secretive lives far amongst the kloofs and krantze of our mountains, we are reminded and reassured of our own sense of belonging within the immensity of the wider living world.

Belinda Ashton
My background - working for wildlife and wild places

Sharing my poem - encounter_with_a_mongoose.pdf

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted…

Creatures great and small - wildlife on our doorstep

Our city consists of an intricate patchwork of green spaces left as small sanctuaries amongst the built environments of our suburbs, ranging from parks, greenbelts and even road verges, to the wilder habitats of our mountains, rivers and wetlands.
Each of these landscapes represents a microcosm of the greater whole, of ecosystems that support the complex spectrum of nature’s incredible diversity. Ultimately we are all threads within the vast web of life, and learning a little more about the many species that call these spaces home, opens our eyes to the wonders of the natural world.

Our gardens can become thriving backyard sanctuaries for local wildlife…

The many links at the top of this website provide detailed information on urban wildlife, with a few specific topics of interest outlined below.

Introducing our wild neighbours
The privilege of living in our city is the knowledge that there are wild creatures inhabiting the most unexpected places, from genets and mongooses to troops of Chacma baboons.
Visit - Wildlife on the Peninsula

Injured birds or wildlife
If you are concerned that a wild animal has been injured or is in distress, first see the emergency contact numbers on the top right of this page or learn more about how to help. Go to - Injured wildlife

For emergencies call the SPCA Wildlife Unit - 021 700 4158

Poisons are not the solution
Many small creatures and birds of prey suffer and ultimately succumb to the insidious effects of rat poison. There are many ethical solutions to dealing with unwelcome wild neighbours.
Visit - Poisons are not the solution

Our speeding vehicles
Many birds and small mammals are killed on our roads each year - this can be prevented if we drive with care and consideration for our wild neigh-bours, especially at night when they emerge to feed.
Visit - Our speeding vehicles

Caracals on the Peninsula
It is wonderful to know that caracals still inhabit the Peninsula and that we can still catch a glimpse of one of these elusive predators out hunting in the early evening.
Visit - Sharing your caracal encounters

Our friends the baboons
Africa’s southern-most primates live precariously alongside us as they find themselves increasingly hemmed in by the city’s ever-expanding suburbs.
Visit - Living with baboons

Wildlife on our doorstep
Chance encounters with urban wildlife take us beyond the sometimes harsh environs of city life, offering a window into the magical, symbiotic world of wild nature.
Visit - Sharing sightings as well as Wildlife on my doorstep

Ring of bright waters
A ramble along one of the Peninsula’s beautiful beaches will often reveal tell-signs of otters living in our midst, from tracks across the sand to pungent smelling scat.
Visit - Cape Clawless Otter

We each have stories to share of daily encounters with wildlife, from little mice in the backyard to a golden mole tunneling across the lawn. I am very interested in learning more about the wildlife of our city, so please send me your sightings at belinda@thenatureconnection.co.za

The greatest danger to our future is apathy (Jane Goodall)
Ultimately I sense that one day we will look back with regret, knowing we did too little, too late. We have altered the delicate balance of life…
Download - a_message_from_wild_neighbours.pdf

Tips for connecting with nature in the city
When you become attuned to the world of wild nature, every day has the potential for small discoveries and adventures, it just requires a little patience and know-how.
Download - connecting_with_nature_in_the_city.pdf

Ecocide - protecting the rights of nature
A growing movement overseas, Ecocide defines the destruction of the natural environment, whether by humans or other causes.
Visit - Ecocide - nature has rights too

Conservation in urban areas
More people than ever before are living in cities and human-created habitats can make a significant contribution to wildlife habitat and conserving local wildlife in urban areas.
Visit - Conservation in urban areas

Wild Neighbours awareness signboard
The project signboards, sponsored by IFAW Southern Africa, have been installed in six nature reserves in Cape Town, including the Edith Stephens, Rondevlei, Blaauberg, Rietvlei, Helderberg and Zandvlei Reserves.

Together we can ensure that wildlife continue to live alongside us in the fairest Cape…