By Ann Kunz
As the recognised “green lungs” of central Durban, uShaka Sea World is an oasis for a variety of plants and animals. Some of the species recorded are permanent residents and others merely drop in from time to time.
We started planting indigenous trees and shrubs shortly before opening the park 17 years ago and over the years have continued to plant targeted indigenous trees and plants in order to provide nourishment, shelter and breeding opportunities for coastal creatures.
Since we started recording our sightings on the iNaturalist app in 2020, we have recorded 45 bird species, 120 plants and tree species and 22 insects. We have just begun developing our list of small mammals, fungi, spiders and molluscs.
“Anyone can be a citizen scientist, all you have to do is download the free iNaturalist app from your app store and create a profile. You can then start taking pictures or sound recordings of plants and animals near you and upload them to iNaturalist. There are experts and nature enthusiasts on iNaturalist who will help you identify what you find,” said uShaka Sea World Education Informal Education Manager, Presha Soogrim.
If you would like to see which species have been found at uShaka, click on this link: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ushaka-marine-world