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Location South Africa, Mpumalanga
Central coordinates 29o 50.00' East  26o 32.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii
Area 120,000 ha
Altitude 1,650 - 1,832m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description This area is bounded by the main roads between the following towns: Ermelo, Amersfoort, Bethal, Hendrina and Carolina. It consists mostly of flat to undulating farmland between 1,650 and 1,832 m. In a landscape dominated by maize, several remnant patches of moist clay highveld grassland are scattered throughout the district, growing on black vertic clays. The grasslands hold several streams and pans, as well as the Willem-Brummer Dam near Ermelo. Rocky slopes, gullies and ravines favour the development of thicket, dominated by Leucosidea, Buddleja and Rhamnus. In the deeper, fire-protected gullies, secondary forest occasionally develops, with trees of Euclea, Diospyros, Myrsine and Rhus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus resident  1998  20 breeding pairs  unknown  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus winter  50-300 individuals  A4i  Vulnerable 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni winter  1,000-2,000 individuals  A1, A4ii  Least Concern 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus winter  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni winter  100-1,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Botha's Lark Spizocorys fringillaris resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Endangered 
Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Least Concern 
Forest Canary Serinus scotops resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - highveld  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
water management 20%
nature conservation and research 100%
other -
tourism/recreation -
water management 10%

Other biodiversity Two highly localized and threatened forbs, Gladiolus robertsoniae and Nerine gracilis, are found in the remaining grassland patches within this site.

References Allan et al. (1983, 1997), de Wet (1991), Hockey et al. (1988), Tarboton (1997a,b,c).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Amersfoort - Bethal - Carolina District. Downloaded from on 10/07/2014

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