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Location South Africa, Free State,KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 29o 1.00' East  28o 27.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 17,770 ha
Altitude 1,700 - 2,328m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Summary This IBA consists of the Sterkfontein Dam and an escarpment to the south of the IBA. The most dominant grassland type is moist sandy highveld grassland.This area supports some highly threatened grassland species, including Rudd's Lark Heteromirafra ruddi, Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus and a breeding Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres colony.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus resident  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue Bustard Eupodotis caerulescens resident  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus resident  present  A1  Least Concern 
Rudd's Lark Heteromirafra ruddi resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata resident  1998  present  A1, A3  Least Concern 
Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Canary Serinus scotops resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium not assessed medium
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Grassland   0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable
Rocky areas   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Wetlands (inland)   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Geronticus calvus Southern Bald Ibis 20 18 adults only 90 near favourable
Gyps coprotheres Cape Vulture 50 20 adults only 40 unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve 18,490 protected area contains site 17,770  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - montane  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams  -
Rocky areas   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
water management 60%
agriculture -
nature conservation and research 14%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 27/04/2015

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