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Location South Africa, Northern Province
Central coordinates 28o 42.00' East  24o 39.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 16,000 ha
Altitude 1,050 - 1,140m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary The Nyl River forms a 70 km long, 16 000 ha grass floodplain, one of the largest in South Africa. It runs from 10 km south of Mookgopong north to Mokopane. 
This is the largest wetland of its kind in South Africa and it is basically a grass-dominated, seasonally inundated floodplain which can hold thousands of waterbirds. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus winter  120-220 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma winter  1,000-2,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma breeding  400-600 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
African Spoonbill Platalea alba winter  350-600 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
African Spoonbill Platalea alba breeding  100-120 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii winter  500-800 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii breeding  200-300 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  500-700 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides winter  600-1,300 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  300-550 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  400-600 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba breeding  200-500 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
African Snipe Gallinago nigripennis winter  500-1,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
African Snipe Gallinago nigripennis breeding  250-400 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni winter  180-500 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2011 very high very unfavourable medium
Habitat
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying likely in short term (within 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - dams (size unknown) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - suppression in fire frequency/intensity happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - sewage likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  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  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nylsvley Nature Reserve 3,101 protected area contained by site 3,985  
Nylsvley Nature Reserve Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,970 protected area contained by site 3,970  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub - woodland  -
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, wet  -
Wetlands (inland) Ephemeral pools and wetlands  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research 59%
water management 15%
nature conservation and research 30%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nyl River Floodplain. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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