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Location Botswana, Kgatleng,Kweneng,Southern
Central coordinates 25o 20.00' East  25o 7.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 750,000 ha
Altitude 1,000 - 1,200m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife Botswana (Partner Designate)



Site description This extensive site includes the Pitsane grasslands as well as mixed savanna, low rolling hills and farmland stretching north from Ramatlabama on the South African border to Gaborone, north to Bokaa and then west to the Moshawong Valley and then south through Thamaga and Kanye down through Mokgomane and into the Pitsane grasslands. The Pitsane grasslands themselves are in the extreme south-east of Botswana, lying south of 25°30’S and east of 25°E, stretching from Ramatlabama west along the Ramatlabama river and Molopo river valleys to Phitshane Molopo, north from Ramatlabama to Pitsane, from Pitsane west to Good Hope, and from there south-west down to Phitshane Molopo. Apart from open grasslands, there is also Acacia parkland and low, scrubby Acacia savanna. Much of the pasture and savanna is used for grazing by livestock, but there are extensive, if small, individual areas under cultivation too. Those parts of the site to the north of the Pitsane grasslands include cultivation, mixed savanna, rolling tree or bush-clad hills and several pans, notably Kgoro Pan and Kgajane Pan near Good Hope and Thamaga, which retain water in winters following good rains.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. South-east Botswana holds an important population of the restricted-range species Certhilauda chuana, which is widespread and locally abundant in the area. The site holds c.70% of its Botswanan population, comprising 8,000–10,000 birds. In addition, Grus paradisea (sometimes pairs with immature birds) are regularly seen at or near Kgoro Pan and may breed nearby, whilst Falco naumanni regularly hunt over the grasslands in the austral summer, and Circus pygargus also occurs. Gyps coprotheres from the breeding colony at Mannyelanong Hill use the area for most of their foraging. The site also supports a number of species which occur in Botswana only, or mainly, in this south-east corner; these include Francolinus levaillantoides, Eupodotis senegalensis (two records only), Macronyx capensis and Euplectes progne. There are a few records of Cursorius rufus, now rare in Botswana. A wide range of species restricted to the Kalahari–Highveld biome occur, including Philetairus socius which breeds, other than in the Kalahari in south-west Botswana, only in an isolated population in the Pitsane grasslands. The Palearctic migrant Hippolais olivetorum is not uncommon throughout much of the site.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus winter  1998  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Burchell's Sandgrouse Pterocles burchelli resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Short-clawed Lark Certhilauda chuana resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Least Concern 
Barred Wren-warbler Camaroptera fasciolata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Burchell's Glossy-starling Lamprotornis australis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kalahari Scrub-robin Erythropygia paena resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2012 low favourable low
Population
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Circus macrourus Pallid Harrier 5678 5467 individuals 97 favourable
Certhilauda chuana Short-clawed Lark 45800 45678 mature individuals 100 favourable
Certhilauda chuana Short-clawed Lark 45890 45679 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Turdus libonyanus Kurrichane Thrush 23450 23356 unknown 100 favourable
Philetairus socius Sociable Weaver 34590 34300 mature individuals 100 favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   21%
Shrubland   8%
Grassland   65%
Forest   5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

References Herremans and Herremans (1992a), Herremans et al. (1994), Herremans (1997), Penry (1994), Wilson (1983).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South-east Botswana. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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