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Location South Africa, Mpumalanga,Northern Province
Central coordinates 30o 50.00' East  24o 40.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4ii
Area 50,000 ha
Altitude 1,100 - 1,832m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary The IBA includes the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, the Swadini and Manoutsa portions of the Mpumalanga Drakensberg escarpment that fall outside the reserve, and a number of forestry-owned areas. This is the only site in South Africa that supports breeding Taita Falcon Falco fasciinucha.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Buteo oreophilus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres resident  660-773 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres winter  1,400-1,500 individuals  A4ii  Vulnerable 
Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Knysna Turaco Tauraco corythaix resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Olive Bush-shrike Telophorus olivaceus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea breeding  1998  unknown  A3  Vulnerable 
African Scrub-warbler Bradypterus barratti resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Orange Ground-thrush Zoothera gurneyi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chorister Robin-chat Cossypha dichroa resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Brown Scrub-robin Erythropygia signata resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Least Concern 
Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Canary Serinus scotops resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kruger to Canyons UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 2,474,700 protected area contains site 50,000  
Motlatse Canyon Nature Reserve 53,731 protected area contained by site 25,161  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - montane  -
Forest Montane forest - mixed  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 40%
nature conservation and research 55%
tourism/recreation -
agriculture -
nature conservation and research 59%
water management 15%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Blyde River Canyon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/09/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife