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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



Summary This large area includes the Magaliesburg range on the Gauteng and North West border. The Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres breeds on the mountain. Many raptor species have been recorded here for example White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus and Lappet-faced Vulture Aegypius tracheliotus.

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.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Gyps coprotheres breeds at two main colonies—the larger Skeerpoort (25°45’S 27°45’E) and the sister colony at Robert’s Farm (25°50’S 27°17’E)—as well as a satellite colony at Nooitgedacht. There appears to be a decline in the numbers of vultures breeding at Robert’s Farm, and it seems that birds may have transferred to Nooitgedacht, following the introduction of a vulture restaurant there, below an abandoned colony. Many other raptor species have been recorded at Skeerpoort, including Gyps africanus and Torgos tracheliotus. Patches of grassland are known to hold small numbers of Grus paradisea.

Non-bird biodiversity: Hyaena brunnea (LR/nt) is a major large predator in the area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
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  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2012 very high very unfavourable negligible
Population
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - persecution/control happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases introduced genetic material happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
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
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution air-borne pollutants - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Transportation and service corridors flight paths happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Rocky areas   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Ciconia nigra Black Stork 4 1 breeding pairs 25 very unfavourable
Gyps coprotheres Cape Vulture 400 332 breeding pairs 83 near favourable
Anthropoides paradiseus Blue Crane 10 2 adults only 20 very unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 

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
WESSA 0

Habitats

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%

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Magaliesberg. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/06/2015

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