|Location||South Africa, Free State|
|Central coordinates||28o 15.00' East 28o 32.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||1,469 - 1,756m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Summary This IBA consists primarily of private farmland in the Fouriesburg, Bethlehem and Clarens districts. Most of the area is cultivated land, but some large patches of natural grassland and areas of rocky outcrops remain in this matrix. This site supports several Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus breeding colonies as well as Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus and Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum.
Site description This IBA consists primarily of private farmland in the Fouriesburg, Bethlehem and Clarens districts. The major part of the area is cultivated land, but some large patches of natural grassland and areas of rocky outcrops remain in this matrix. Several areas of sandstone are deeply incised by rivers, creating impressive cliffs. Highland sourveld dominates the vegetation. In the deeper valleys and krantzes, woody communities encroach; dominants in the thickets include Cliffortia, Leucosidea, Buddleja, Cussonia, Rhus, Diospyros and Protasparagus. On the flatter, deeper soils of the mountain slopes and plateau, Protea woodland dominates.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. This site supports several breeding colonies of Geronticus calvus. The larger and better-known colonies occur on the farms Avondzon (13+ pairs), Belleuvue 399 (10+ pairs), Bramley’s Hoek 52 (13+ pairs), Welgelegen 102 (20+ pairs) and on the South African National Defence Force (ZANDF) owned Vaalbank Training Area (22–30 pairs). Many other smaller colonies and individual pairs breed elsewhere in the district, but birds do not remain faithful to these sites. Geronticus calvus are regularly seen foraging alongside Grus paradisea, Balearica regulorum and Eupodotis caerulescens in the grasslands. Gyps coprotheres, Gypaetus barbatus and Polemaetus bellicosus are occasional visitors to the area, but no longer breed in the IBA. The grassy slopes are home to Saxicola bifasciata, Monticola explorator and (on Protea-covered slopes) Promerops gurneyi. Falco naumanni is a regular summer visitor and Circus maurus a regular winter visitor.
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||-||80-100 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus||winter||-||200-300 individuals||-||A4i||Vulnerable|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||winter||-||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Black Harrier Circus maurus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Blue Bustard Eupodotis caerulescens||resident||-||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata||resident||1998||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming||past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting||whole area/population (>90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming||happening now||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Biological resource use||hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target)||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Energy production and mining||mining and quarrying||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Energy production and mining||oil and gas drilling||likely in short term (within 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Pollution||air-borne pollutants - type unknown/unrecorded||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||domestic & urban waste water - run-off||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Pollution||excess energy - noise pollution||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||garbage & solid waste||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Residential and commercial development||tourism and recreation areas||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Transportation and service corridors||roads and railroads||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Transportation and service corridors||utility & service lines||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Grassland||Grassland - highveld||0||0||very poor (< 40%)||moderate (70-90%)||very unfavourable|
|Savanna||Wooded grassland||0||0||moderate (70-90%)||good (> 90%)||near favourable|
|Wetlands (inland)||Ephemeral pools and wetlands||0||0||poor (40-69%)||poor (40-69%)||very unfavourable|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun||Very little or no conservation action taking place||negligible|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Shrubland - Montane||-|
|Grassland||Grassland - highveld||-|
|Wetlands (inland)||Ephemeral pools and wetlands; Rivers & streams||-|
|Artificial - terrestrial||Arable land||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||1%|
References Bates (1991), Earlé and Lawson (1988), Hutsebaut et al. (1992), Kopij (1995), Pocock and Uys (1967), Roberts (1969), Stoltz and Geyser (1973).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rooiberge-Riemland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2015
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