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Location South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 31o 47.00' East  28o 58.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 1,318 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description Umlalazi lies directly adjacent to the town of Mtunzini, 120 km north of Durban. It is bounded in the north by the Umlalazi river and its lagoon, in the west by a prawn farm and cane and timber lands, in the south by Amatikulu Nature Reserve, and in the east by the sea. It is bisected by the Siyayi river, which has its own lagoon. The terrain is flat. Dune forest occupies much of the reserve, with trees of Olea, Vepris, Ekebergia, Dovyalis and Scolopia. Wet areas beyond the influence of brackish water bear extensive stands of reed Phragmites. Fringing the Siyayi Lagoon is a swamp-forest with Barringtonia and Hibiscus. By contrast, around the Umlalazi Lagoon is a beautiful mangrove forest of Avicennia and Bruguiera, with saltmarsh in the upper tidal reaches.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus resident  1998  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Corncrake Crex crex winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Mangrove Kingfisher Halcyon senegaloides resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus quadricolor resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-bellied Glossy-starling Lamprotornis corruscus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Ground-thrush Zoothera guttata winter  present  A1  Endangered 
Mouse-coloured Sunbird Nectarinia veroxii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Umlalazi Provincial Nature Reserve 1,189 protected area contains site 1,318  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Mangroves  -
Artificial - terrestrial   6%
Unknown   12%
Forest   81%

Land use

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

Other biodiversity The orchid Didymophlexis verrucosa is endemic to the reserve and its immediate surrounds. Two Red Data fish, Eliotris melanosoma and Taenioides jacksoni (LR/nt) are almost certainly present in the estuary.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Umlalazi Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014

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