|Location||South Africa, Mpumalanga|
|Central coordinates||30o 4.00' East 25o 21.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||1,700 - 2,274m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This large area consists of c.150 private farms in the Belfast-Dullstroom region. The Belfast District border defines the northern, eastern and western limits of the site. The Middelburg–Belfast–Lydenburg road forms the southern boundary. The area lies on the central South African plateau, and it consists primarily of rolling high-altitude grassland (1,700–2,100 m), interspersed with rocky outcrops. North of Dullstroom, the southern portion of the Steenkampsberg, with peaks up to 2,274 m, breaks the rolling plateau grasslands. Within the Steenkampsberg area, two wetland systems are particularly important: (1) Lakensvleispruit (25°35’S 30°05’E) lies 8 km north-east of Belfast. This area is deeply flooded. The critically important northern edge of the vlei, known as Middelpunt (25°32’S 30°07’E), is dominated by reed Phragmites on permanently saturated to flooded ground. In some areas there are large tracts of virtually uniform sedge Carex, particularly at the vlei’s north-eastern end. (2) Verloren Valei, lying c.9 km north of Dullstroom, comprises a large area of scattered wetland patches. The wetlands have mainly short vegetation, predominantly grasses, forbs and short sedges less than 50–60 cm tall. Some marshy depressions hold patches of Typha, various Scirpus and Pycreus and taller sedges. Moist, sandy highveld grassland is found to the south-west of Belfast. The remainder of the area is covered by north-eastern mountain grassland, especially along the Steenkampsberg towards Dullstroom. The area also supports a wide variety of forbs and ferns, including many South African endemics. Rocky slopes, gullies and ravines favour the development of thickets dominated by Leucosidea.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus||resident||1998||30-40 breeding pairs||unknown||A1, A3, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus||winter||-||100-350 individuals||-||A4i||Vulnerable|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||winter||-||1,000-3,000 individuals||-||A1, A4ii||Least Concern|
|White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi||winter||1998||6-12 individuals||-||A1, A4i||Critically Endangered|
|Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus||resident||-||4 breeding pairs||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Rudd's Lark Heteromirafra ruddi||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A3||Least Concern|
|Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-breasted Pipit Anthus chloris||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Verloren Valei||Provincial Nature Reserve||5,990||protected area contained by site||5,922|
|Verloren Valei Nature Reserve||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||5,891||protected area contained by site||5,891|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Grassland||Grassland - highveld||-|
|Wetlands (inland)||Riverine floodplains||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||6%|
|nature conservation and research||4%|
Other biodiversity North-eastern mountain grassland holds 78 endemic and near-endemic plant species on the Black Reef quartzites, several of which species are present within this site, including Zantedeschia pentlandii and Gladiolus cataractarum. The global range of the cycad Encephalartos humilis is restricted to this site and the surrounding districts.
References Allan et al. (1997), Batchelor (1984), Bloem (1988), de Wet (1991), Hockey et al. (1988), Kotze and Taylor (1995), Kotze et al. (1994), Tarboton (1984a,b,c, 1995b, 1997a,b,c), Tarboton and Johnson (1992), Taylor (1994, 1997a,b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Steenkampsberg. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2014
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