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Location South Africa, Mpumalanga
Central coordinates 31o 2.00' East  25o 55.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 56,000 ha
Altitude 1,200 - 1,851m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary Located in eastern Mpumalanga, just south of Barberton, this IBA abuts Swaziland's Malolotja Nature Reserve. The area includes some of the most rugged mountain terrain in all of southern Africa, as the nature reserve is located along South Africa's eastern Drakensberg escarpment. More than 300 bird species have been recorded in the reserve.

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  A3  Vulnerable 
Buteo oreophilus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Blue Bustard Eupodotis caerulescens resident  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
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 
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 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high unfavourable low
Habitat
-

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - shifting agriculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Geological events avalanches/landslides likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Pollution air-borne pollutants - smog happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution excess energy - light pollution likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution garbage & solid waste likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - seepage from mining happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors flight paths likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Forest   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable
Grassland   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable
Shrubland   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Songimvelo Provincial Nature Reserve 49,076 protected area contains site 56,000  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
nature conservation and research 100%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Songimvelo Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014

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