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Location South Africa, Free State,North-West Province
Central coordinates 25o 45.00' East  27o 40.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 55,372 ha
Altitude 1,228 - 1,271m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Summary The reserves lie on the Free State/North-West Province border, surrounding the Bloemhof Dam, an impoundment on the Vaal River. Sandveld Nature Reserve protects a remnant patch of the eastern form of Kalahari Thornveld. The Kalahari Thornveld in this region previously covered a much greater area. The dam regularly supports more than 5 000 waterfowl and sometimes more than 10 000 birds. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Shoveler Spatula smithii winter  183-490 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis winter  150-540 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus winter  75 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  760-1,632 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor winter  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 
African Spoonbill Platalea alba winter  67-193 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
African Darter Anhinga rufa winter  273-610 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta non-breeding  271-716 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve 21,685 protected area contained by site 21,207  
Sandveld Nature Reserve 32,729 protected area contained by site 37,735  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Shrubland - bushy Karroo  -
Grassland Grassland - Semi-desert  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
water management 80%
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sandveld and Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserves. Downloaded from on 25/04/2015

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