Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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South Africa, Mpumalanga
30o 45.00' East 25o 30.00' South
A1, A2, A3
1,400 - 1,740m
Year of IBA assessment
BirdLife South Africa
Summary The IBA, which lies within the South African mistbelt, includes the village of Kaapse Hoop. This small site once held the largest Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea breeding population in Mpumalanga. The swallows were concentrated in the remaining 461 ha of grassland lying south of Kaapse Hoop village.
Site description Lying c.30 km south-west of Nelspruit, this site consists of gently undulating sour grassland. Narrow drainage lines dissect the grassland, which holds several ponds and small water-bodies. Patches of fynbos (Erica, Protea) also occur, and other scrubby forest-edge species form thickets along the rivers and in the valleys. Forest occurs in the more mesic valleys, dominated by trees of Rapanea, Xymalos, Podocarpus, Pterocelastrus and Syzygium. Other habitats include rocky outcrops and open rock cliffs. Exotic trees, primarily wattle Acacia, have invaded much of the remaining grassland.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This small site holds the third-largest breeding population of Hirundo atrocaerulea in South Africa. The swallows are concentrated in the remaining 461 ha of grassland lying south of Kaapse Hoop village; all the nests are restricted to this primary grassland. Turnix hottentotta, Vanellus melanopterus and other grassland species, such as Saxicola bifasciata, also occur at Kaapse Hoop. The proteoid woodland holds Promerops gurneyi. The forest patches are home to Lioptilus nigricapillus, Tauraco corythaix and Buteo oreophilus.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.