|Location||South Africa, Free State|
|Central coordinates||29o 34.00' East 28o 13.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Summary This site consists of a wetland on the private farms Wilge Rivier, Chatsworth and Bedford c. 20 km east of Harrismith. The farms lie in the Grassland Biome at an altitude of 1 700 m a.s.l. and consist primarily of flat grassland plains. White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi has been recorded at the site.
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.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Sarothrura ayresi has been recorded at the site. There is enough habitat to support between 30 and 50 birds, a higher estimated total than for any other single site in South Africa. Potential habitat for Porzana pusilla occurs regularly around the edges of the wetland, and it may also breed here. Balearica regulorum occurs at the site regularly.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|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|
|2014||very high||near favourable||high|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Energy production and mining||oil and gas drilling||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Energy production and mining||renewable energy||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||work and other activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||problematic native species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (commercial use)||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Natural system modifications||fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||very high|
|Residential and commercial development||tourism and recreation areas||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Forest||0||0||moderate (70-90%)||good (> 90%)||near favourable|
|Grassland||Grassland - edaphic, wet||0||0||good (> 90%)||moderate (70-90%)||near favourable|
|Wetlands (inland)||Permanent herbaceous swamps and bogs||0||0||good (> 90%)||moderate (70-90%)||near favourable|
|Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation||A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species||Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity||high|
|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%|
References Taylor (1997a,b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ingula Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2015
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