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Location South Africa, Mpumalanga,Northern Province
Central coordinates 31o 35.00' East  24o 10.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 2,142,528 ha
Altitude 300 - 450m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description Kruger National Park (KNP) is situated on the southern portion of the Mozambique coastal plain in the lowveld of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga. The park is roughly rectangular in shape, stretching c.320 km from north to south and 65 km from east to west. The site includes the important Banyani flood-plain, just outside the park’s border, as well as several provincial and privately owned reserves that lie adjacent to the western border, and the large Onderberg area to the south of the park (managed by the Mpumalanga Parks Board). The area consists of flat, gently undulating plains that are occasionally broken by scattered inselbergs. The Lebombo mountains, a series of low hills, dominate the eastern border of the park. KNP is drained from west to east by two major river systems, the nKomati and the Limpopo, which form the southern and northern borders of the park respectively, and also by six other large rivers. Under natural conditions all of these rivers would be perennial, but owing to heavy water abstraction within their catchments (west of the IBA), all but one now dry out seasonally.The varied soils give rise to a plethora of different types of deciduous savanna and woodland, ranging from dense forest to open shrubby grassland. Savanna predominates overall, but there is dense broadleaved woodland in the south-west, dominated by Dichrostachys, Combretum and Terminalia, as well as mopane woodland in the central portion of the park, and more open woodland of Burkea, Pseudolachnostylis, Kirkia and baobab Adansonia in the drier, rugged northern region. Riverine forest and thicket occurs along all the major drainage lines.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Stork Ciconia nigra winter  40-60 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  10-20 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres winter  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Corncrake Crex crex winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus cryptoxanthus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus quadricolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-throated Twinspot Hypargos margaritatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lemon-breasted Seedeater Serinus citrinipectus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kruger National Park 915,052 protected area contained by site 1,898,859  
Kruger to Canyons UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 2,474,700 protected area contains site 2,142,528  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Lowland forest - riparian; Woodland - mixed  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
nature conservation and research 100%
water management 10%

Other biodiversity KNP is one of the most important conservation areas in South Africa. Many threatened species occur throughout the park. Among mammals, there are important populations of Ceratotherium simum (LR/cd; more than 700 individuals), Diceros bicornis (CR), Lycaon pictus (EN), Loxodonta africana (EN; more than 7,000 individuals) and Acinonyx jubatus (VU). The highly localized Chrysospalax villosus and Amblysomus julianae (CR) have been recorded in the park. The park also holds populations of the more localized Chirindia langi, Zygaspis vandami and Afroedura langi; the latter is restricted to the Olifants river valley. Among the frogs, southern African endemics include Hemisus marmoratus, Hyperolius tuberilinguis, Afrixalus aureus, A. delicatus, Phrynobatrachus mababiensis, Hilderbrandtia ornata, Ptychadena mossambica, P. oxyrhynchus, Strongylopus grayii, Tomopterna krugerensis, T. marmorata and T. natalensis. Arthrolepis stenodactylus is a rare resident.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References Benn et al. (1995), Braack (1983), Chittenden (1992), Fraser et al. (1987), Gertenbach (1983), Joubert (1984), Kemp (1974, 1980), Kemp et al. (1989), Newman (1987), Sinclair and Whyte (1991), Tarboton et al. (1987), Venter and Bristow (1984), Venter and Gertenbach (1984), Watson (1990a,b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kruger National Park and adjacent areas. Downloaded from on 23/07/2014

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