|Altitude||1,000 - 3,000m|
The highlands as defined here include the higher mountains of the Drakensberg and Maluti ranges in Lesotho and the adjacent parts of the South African provinces of the eastern Cape, Natal and Orange Free State (see p.324 for map). The area lies adjacent to the South African grasslands (EBA 091), but the birds of that EBA mainly occur in grasslands at lower altitudes-although there is some overlap, as one species from that EBA (Yellow-breasted Pipit Anthus chloris) occurs locally in the alpine zone.
The restricted-range species are all widespread and locally common within the EBA (Osborne and Tigar 1992). They breed in open alpine grassland, rocky slopes and Afromontane scrub above c.2,000m. Chaetops aurantius and Serinus symonsi descend to slightly lower altitudes outside the breeding season, and Anthus hoeschi is migratory, apparently wintering in Angola or central Africa.
|Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius)||LC|
|Mountain Pipit (Anthus hoeschi)||LC|
|Drakensberg Siskin (Serinus symonsi)||LC|
|IBA Code||Site Name||Country|
|LS002||Upper Senqu River||Lesotho|
|LS003||Mafika - Lisiu||Lesotho|
|LS004||Sehonghong and Matebeng||Lesotho|
|LS005||Sehlabathebe National Park||Lesotho|
|LS006||Upper Quthing Valley||Lesotho|
|ZA036||Golden Gate Highlands National Park||South Africa|
|ZA048||UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park||South Africa|
|ZA062||Matatiele Nature Reserve||South Africa|
Threats and conservation
Parts of the EBA are densely populated and subject to overgrazing and uncontrolled burning. The various developments associated with the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme, including its dams, roads and new settlements will also lead to increased disturbance (D.G.Allan in litt. 1993; see Osborne and Tigar 1992). However, extensive areas of suitable habitat remain for the restricted-range species, and none is classified as threatened. More-widespread threatened birds which occur in the EBA are Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus and Cape Griffon Gyps coprotheres (both classified as Vulnerable).
The EBA has several protected areas which contain suitable habitat for the restricted-range birds (see IUCN 1992b). All of the species are known from Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho (K. Barnes in litt. 1996); in South Africa, Chaetops aurantius and Serinus symonsi are present in Giant's Castle Game Reserve, and C. aurantius occurs additionally in Royal Natal
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Lesotho highlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2013
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