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Location South Africa, Gauteng,North-West Province
Central coordinates 27o 40.00' East  25o 45.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii
Area 367,108 ha
Altitude 1,100 - 1,851m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description This large area includes the magisterial districts of the former Bophuthatswana, Brits, Rustenburg, Swartruggens, Ventersdorp, Koster and Oberholzer. The Magaliesberg range extends in an arc from just south of Rustenburg in the west to Hartbeespoort Dam near Pretoria in the east. Peaks in the west include Tshufi (1,592 m) and Rustenburgkloof (1,688 m), in the centre Nooitgedacht (1,851 m) and Doornhoek (1,786 m), and in the east Versigtig (1,563 m), Myoko (1,523 m) and Sun Glory (1,601 m) are found in the vicinity of Hartbeespoort Dam.

To the south, the Witwatersberg range runs parallel to the Magaliesberg, extending from the town of Magaliesberg in the west to Hartbeespoort Dam in the east. The Ben-Tor Gloster (1,674 m), Hartebeeshoek (1,585 m) and Skeerpoort (1,544 m) peaks dominate the Witwatersberg. Several large rivers have their headwaters in these mountains, including the Crocodile, Sterkstroom, Magalies and Skeerpoort rivers. Three major impoundments lie along the Magaliesberg; the massive Hartbeespoort Dam in the east, Buffelspoort Dam in the centre and Olifantsnek Dam about 7 km south of Rustenburg.

The mountain peaks and slopes are clothed in open broadleaved woodland of Faurea, Acacia, Bequaertiodendron, Burkea, Peltophorum, Kirkia, Combretum, Albizia and Diplorrhynchus, and proteoid shrubland occurs on cool slopes. The surrounding land, especially that to the north of the mountain range, is used primarily for cattle-ranching, with some intensive crop and fruit-farming on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg range.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  3-4 breeding pairs    Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra winter  10-20 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres resident  100-250 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres winter  250-600 individuals  A4ii  Vulnerable 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Barred Wren-warbler Camaroptera fasciolata resident  1998    Least Concern 
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus resident  1998    Least Concern 
White-throated Robin-chat Cossypha humeralis resident  1998    Least Concern 
Kalahari Scrub-robin Erythropygia paena resident  1998    Least Concern 
White-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia talatala resident  1998    Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Rustenburg Nature Reserve 4,626 protected area contained by site 4,291  

Local conservation groups The local conservation groups below are working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Magalisberg protection association 2007
Hekpoort conservancy 0
Vulture valley conservancy 0
BirdLife South Africa 0
Buffelspoort conservancy 0
Rhino and Lion reserve 0
Magalisberg Biosphere Conservancy 0


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - montane  major
Rocky areas Scree, boulders & bare rock  major
Savanna Wooded grassland  major
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 6%
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
agriculture -
water management 20%

Other biodiversity Hyaena brunnea (LR/nt) is a major large predator in the area.

References Boshoff (1990), Komen (1992a,b), Verdoorn and Becker (1992), Verdoorn et al. (1989, 1992).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Magaliesberg. Downloaded from on 18/04/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife