|Central coordinates||14o 35.00' East 21o 8.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A2, A3|
|Altitude||480 - 2,606m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain. Massive and conical, it is of ancient volcanic origin, situated in the central section of the Namib desert. Rainfall averages 100 mm per year. Basalt plains envelop the northern slopes, supporting slightly different vegetation assemblages to elsewhere. The mountain is uninhabited, but the ephemeral Ugab river flows past its northern extremities and supports traditional pastoralists. Owing to higher cloud cover, and accumulations of water on top of the mountain, relative to the surrounding area, many of the grasses on the mountain’s plateau-like summit are perennial, replacing the annuals common on the plains below. Grass composition may, however, change in decades with poor rainfall when both plants and some vertebrates disappear. The western side of the mountain receives coastal fog and supports higher vegetation biomass than other slopes. The valleys and gorges also differ in plant community composition because of the higher run-off in these areas.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Hartlaub's Francolin Pternistis hartlaubi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rüppell's Parrot Poicephalus rueppellii||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Monteiro's Hornbill Tockus monteiri||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chatshrike Lanioturdus torquatus||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rockrunner Achaetops pycnopygius||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bare-cheeked Babbler Turdoides gymnogenys||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kalahari Scrub-robin Erythropygia paena||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Herero Chat Namibornis herero||resident||1998||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Recent analyses show that Brandberg is at the centre of a rich vein of endemic mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants that runs north–south through western Namibia from the Sperrgebiet (NA019) in the south to the Otjihipa mountains in the north. No other area in the country is as rich in endemics as the Brandberg Massif; among the 90 plants endemic to Namibia, eight are found nowhere else, three of the country’s six near-endemic frogs, eight of 14 near-endemic mammals, 49 of 59 near-endemic reptiles, and 11 of 14 near-endemic birds occur on, or around, this outstanding inselberg. Brandberg supports a greater combination of endemic plants, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals than any other place in Namibia. As such, it is a critical conservation area in the country.
References Brown (1991), Craven (1989, 1997), Griffin (1998), Kinahan (1986, 1991), Kirk-Spriggs and Marais (2000), Maggs et al. (1998), Nordenstam (1974), Robertson et al. (1998), Simmons et al. (1998).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Brandberg mountain. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/08/2014
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