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Location South Africa, Free State
Central coordinates 29o 23.00' East  28o 18.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 58 ha
Altitude 1,640 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description The farm Murphy’s Rust 209 is located c.20 km east of Harrismith. It consists primarily of flat grassveld plains, most of which are used for growing maize, wheat, soya beans and pasture grass, while the remaining natural grassland on the slopes is grazed by sheep and cattle. An important wetland is situated on the property. Located in rolling high-altitude grassland, the wetland is dominated at both its upper and lower ends by beds of Phragmites; at the lower end, it has dense well-grown beds of Eleocharis, much trampled by cattle, and some good stands of Typha and Leersia in shallow water. The middle section of the wetland comprises excellent habitat, hardly damaged or penetrated by cattle: it has extensive areas of Cyperus, with Typha growing through it in patches or as single stems, Schoenoplectus at the edges and occasionally wet grass and forbs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi winter  1998  10-15 individuals  unknown  A1, A4i  Critically Endangered 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - highveld  -
Wetlands (inland) Permanent herbaceous swamps and bogs  -
Artificial - terrestrial   90%
Shrubland   10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
agriculture -
other -

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Taylor (1997a,b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Murphy's Rust. Downloaded from on 17/04/2014

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