Environment It’s official – Cape Town has the most plant and animal species...

It’s official – Cape Town has the most plant and animal species in the world

View from Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

According to the City Nature Challenge, Cape Town has the most plant and animal species in the world.  Cape Town has some 4,588 plant and animal species, outdoing its nearest competitor – La Paz, Bolivia – by 1,500.

 

In its first year in the City Nature Challenge, Cape Town has hammered its competition and leads the world rankings as the most biologically diverse city on Earth.

According to Business Insider the challenge, which began in the United States in 2016, is an international effort to get citizens to record plant and animal species and to see which city can make the most observations and record the most creatures. It started out as a battle between San Francisco and Los Angeles but went global in 2018.

In 2019, Cape Town won by a long margin. “We did not just win the challenge,” says Tony Rebelo, a senior scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi). “We totally outperformed all other cities when it came to species.”

 

The city had 53,763 observations by 1,141 people and recorded 4,588 different species. Its closest competition, La Paz in Bolivia, saw 46,931 observations and 3,006 species recorded – even though it had more people trying to observe species at 1,500. San Diego County in the United States came in third place, with 38,241 observations of 3,019 species.

The Cape is home to the smallest of the planet’s six floral kingdoms, and the Cape Floral Kingdom has a high number of unique species found nowhere else on Earth.

 

Image: Peninsula Shale Fynbos

Read more of this story on Business Insider