Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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South Africa, Northern Province
28o 58.00' East 23o 7.00' South
1,100 - 2,051m
Year of IBA assessment
BirdLife South Africa
Summary Blouberg is an isolated inselberg that lies to the west of the Soutpansberg range, some 80 km west of Louis Trichardt. The cliffs at Blouberg regularly hold between 600 and 920 pairs of Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres.
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.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The cliffs at Blouberg regularly hold between 600 and 800 pairs of Gyps coprotheres, making it the world’s second-largest colony. While most birds breed at the main colony, a few pairs breed elsewhere on the Blouberg, at satellite colonies such as Leipsig, Glenferness and Millbank. The satellite colonies are only occasionally active. The surrounding woodland holds Bucorvus cafer, Eupodotis ruficrista, Mirafra passerina, Bradornis mariquensis, Turdoides bicolor, Cossypha humeralis, Cercotrichas paena, Calamonastes fasciolatus, Eremomela usticollis, Telophorus quadricolor, Eurocephalus anguitimens, Sporopipes squamifrons, Uraeginthus granatina and Estrilda erythronotos.
Non-bird 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.