|Location||South Africa, Free State|
|Central coordinates||29o 34.00' East 28o 13.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This site consists of a wetland on the private farms Wilge Rivier, Chatsworth and Bedford c.20 km east of Harrismith. The farms consist primarily of flat grassveld plains, most of which are used for growing maize, wheat, soya beans and pasture grass, while most of the remaining natural grassland on the slopes is grazed by sheep and cattle. A very large, impressive wetland is situated on the properties. This wetland is minimally disturbed or modified, and is possibly only grazed lightly for part of the year. The vlei has three major arms, which unite in a main channel running below a steep ridge on the wetland’s northern border. On sections of the vlei adjacent to the steeper slopes, there are extensive, broad beds of Phragmites, up to 2.5 m tall, which often contain a rich mixture of other plant species such as Carex, Cyperus, Typha, Schoenoplectus and Leersia. On the side of the wetland adjacent to the shallow slopes, the vegetation comprises extensive patches of Typha and mixed sedges, with some grass. Around the edges there are numerous small depressions and inlets with combinations of sedges and grasses, which further increase the diversity of the vegetation.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi||winter||1998||30-50 individuals||unknown||A1, A4i||Critically Endangered|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Grassland||Grassland - edaphic, wet||-|
|Wetlands (inland)||Permanent herbaceous swamps and bogs||-|
|Artificial - terrestrial||9%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.
References Taylor (1997a,b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bedford-Chatsworth. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014
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