|Location||South Africa, Free State,North-West Province|
|Central coordinates||25o 45.00' East 27o 40.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||1,228 - 1,271m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description 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, which projects into the grassland biome. The Kalahari Thornveld in this region previously covered a much greater area. The central portion of the reserve supports some excellent dense stands of Acacia savanna with Brachiaria as a co-dominant. The remainder of the reserve is dominated by open short grassveld, with clumps of Tarchonanthus and small thickets of Ziziphus, Rhus and Acacia scattered throughout.There are also extensive areas which, in the past, were cleared for grazing or cultivation; these open areas persist in the reserve either as open grassland or regenerating woodland. There is also an area of previously intensely overgrazed grassland, where karroid vegetation has invaded. Most of the reserve is very flat; there are a few low koppies and ridges, covered mainly with hillside bush of Olea and Rhus. Although the level of Bloemhof Dam can show large fluctuations, there are also times when it remains low for extended periods because the Vaal Dam, upstream, captures the major part of the catchment waters. Pans form under these conditions, and the exposed dam basin is colonized by grasses and extensive stands of annuals.
|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 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||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity Several large mammals have been reintroduced, including Ceratotherium simum (LR/nt).
References Colahan (1992a,b, 1993a,b, 1994a,b), Kopij and Nuttall (1996), Nuttall (1993, 1995).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sandveld and Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserves. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/07/2014
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