|Location||South Africa, Northern Cape|
|Central coordinates||20o 20.00' East 28o 35.00' South|
|Altitude||582 - 914m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Augrabies Falls National Park is situated on the vast Bushmanland peneplain where it straddles the Orange river, c.380 km inland of Alexander Bay. Between Kakamas and the Augrabies Falls, a distance of c.35 km, the river flows through a wide, flat, cultivated valley. From the 146-m-high falls at the park headquarters it meanders down a deep, narrow gorge for several kilometres before reaching the level surface of the surrounding plains once again. The rest of the park is flat with low relief, scattered with large rounded domes. Drainage channels are sandy, gravelly and dry and are mostly very shallow, or occasionally deeper with rocky sides and broad beds. The area is classed as an arid to semi-arid cold desert.The park’s vegetation comprises mainly Orange river Nama-Karoo, typically with trees and shrubs of Sarcostemma, Acacia, Rhus, Salix, Rhigozum, Boscia and Cadaba, and succulents (Aloe, Euphorbia) on the steep, rocky mountain-slopes. In the riverbeds, sandy deposits occasionally form islands that hold a tall open grassland. Upstream of the falls, the Orange river is a braided stream with much fine alluvial sand and silt forming complex islands, which hold gallery forest along the river arms, dominated by Ziziphus, Euclea, Maytenus, Rhus, Acacia and Tamarix, with Lycium and Diospyros in the shrub layer. Phragmites grows in patches along the river. In the gorges downstream of the waterfall Ficus grows sparsely on the rocks.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Ludwig's Bustard Neotis ludwigii||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Endangered|
|Karoo Bustard Eupodotis vigorsii||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Karoo Lark Certhilauda albescens||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Stark's Lark Eremalauda starki||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-eared Sparrow-lark Eremopterix australis||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Namaqua Warbler Phragmacia substriata||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kopje Warbler Euryptila subcinnamomea||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Layard's Warbler Sylvia layardi||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale-winged Starling Onychognathus nabouroup||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kalahari Scrub-robin Erythropygia paena||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|Sicklewing Chat Cercomela sinuata||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Karoo Chat Cercomela schlegelii||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Tractrac Chat Cercomela tractrac||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius||resident||1998||-||-||Least Concern|
|Black-headed Canary Serinus alario||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Augrabies Falls||National Park||55,361||protected area contains site||25,900|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Shrubland - succulent Karroo||-|
|Artificial - terrestrial||2%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity Among plants, the distinctive southern African endemic Aloe dichotoma is common within the park. The permanently flowing sections of the river support two important fish species, the Vaal-Orange river endemic Austroglanis sclateri (DD) and Barbus hospes (LR/nt), which is restricted to the Orange river below the Augrabies Falls. Among herptiles, this is the only protected area in the world supporting the endemic frog Phrynomerus annectens and the lizard Platysaurus broadleyi; the latter is restricted to the lower Orange river valley between Augrabies and Pella. The threatened mammal Diceros bicornis (CR) was reintroduced to the park in 1985.
References Leistner (1967), Leistner and Werger (1973), Low and Rebelo (1996), Rautenbach et al. (1979), Werger (1973).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Augrabies Falls National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/03/2014
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