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Location South Africa, Northern Province
Central coordinates 28o 58.00' East  23o 7.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4ii
Area 30,000 ha
Altitude 1,100 - 2,051m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description Blouberg is an isolated inselberg that lies to the west of the Soutpansberg range, some 80 km west of Louis Trichardt. This small rugged pinnacle rises sharply from the surrounding plateau that lies, on average, at 1,000 m. Peaks such as Sesuane (1,552 m), Lenare (1,385 m) and the summit Gamonnaasenamoriri (2,051 m) dominate the massif. The site is defined as the portion of the inselberg lying above the 1,100 m contour line.The mountain slopes are covered by north-eastern mountain sourveld. The scrubby thornveld of the mountain slopes includes woody species of Phymaspermum, Lippia and Stoebe. On the lower and mid-slopes, sourish mixed bushveld dominates, generally as an open savanna dominated by Acacia and Dichrostachys trees, with Combretum, Rhus, Grewia and Dombeya less common. The mountain’s higher slopes and plateau are covered in some areas by scattered Protea bushes. Small patches of Afromontane forest are found in valleys and moist basins throughout Blouberg, with forest trees of Rapanea, Xymalos, Podocarpus and Trichocladus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres resident  820-870 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres winter  1,700-1,900 individuals  A4ii  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Blouberg Nature Reserve 12,833 protected area contained by site 4,450  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Woodland - mixed  -
Grassland   -
Savanna   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 17%
tourism/recreation -
forestry 14%
nature conservation and research 8%

Other biodiversity The Blouberg is the only home to the reptile Platysaurus monotropis, which is endemic to this set of inselbergs. Platysaurus guttatus and Lygodactylus nigropuncatus (endemic subspecies L. n. montiscaeruli is restricted to the Blouberg) have global ranges restricted to the Blouberg, Soutpansberg (IBA ZA002) and nearby Waterberg (IBA ZA006), although the latter species also occurs patchily elsewhere in the central Northern Province. The Blouberg foothills also hold Platysaurus minor.

References Benson (1986), Benson and Dobbs (1984), Benson et al. (1990), Coetzee et al. (1981).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Blouberg. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014

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