|Location||South Africa, Mpumalanga|
|Central coordinates||29o 50.00' East 26o 32.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||1,650 - 1,832m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Summary The IBA consists mostly of highly fragmented grasslands of the area hold several streams and pans, as well as the Willem-Brummer Dam near Ermelo. This IBA holds a large proportion of the global population of Botha's Lark Spizocorys fringillaris.
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.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This site holds a large proportion of the global population of Spizocorys fringillaris. The grassland areas also hold Neotis denhami, Eupodotis senegalensis, Saxicola bifasciata, Monticola explorator and Geronticus calvus. Falco naumanni, Glareola nordmanni and (less frequently) Circus macrourus can be seen quartering the grasslands. Occasionally, all of South Africa’s crane species can be found in the grasslands or cropfields within the site.
Non-bird biodiversity: Two highly localized and threatened forbs, Gladiolus robertsoniae and Nerine gracilis, are found in the remaining grassland patches within this site.
|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|
|2014||very high||very unfavourable||negligible|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming||happening now||whole area/population (>90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||very high|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - scale unknown/unrecorded||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (agricultural use)||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||air-borne pollutants - type unknown/unrecorded||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Residential and commercial development||commercial and industrial development||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Transportation and service corridors||roads and railroads||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Transportation and service corridors||utility & service lines||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Grassland||0||0||poor (40-69%)||moderate (70-90%)||very unfavourable|
|Wetlands (inland)||Rivers & streams||0||0||good (> 90%)||moderate (70-90%)||near favourable|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management planning has taken place||Very little or no conservation action taking place||negligible|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Grassland||Grassland - highveld||-|
|Wetlands (inland)||Rivers & streams||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
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 (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Amersfoort - Bethal - Carolina District. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2015
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