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Location South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 29o 57.00' East  27o 57.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 5,984 ha
Altitude 1,240 - 1,290m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Summary Located 26 km south of Newcastle, Chelmsford Nature Reserve features a gently undulating landscape with lightly wooded hills and flat-bottomed valleys. Altitude range is 1 240–1 290 m a.s.l. The Chelmsford Dam, a large, man-made impoundment, and the Ngagane River are the dominant features in the area. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus resident  40-60 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus winter  80-150 individuals  A4i  Vulnerable 
Black Harrier Circus maurus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue Bustard Eupodotis caerulescens resident  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Corncrake Crex crex winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus resident  present  A1  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Chelmsford Dam Provincial Nature Reserve 5,983 protected area contains site 5,984  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Grassland - montane  -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chelmsford Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 16/09/2014

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