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Location South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 30o 34.00' East  29o 9.00' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 2,800 ha
Altitude 970 m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description Umvoti vlei lies 11 km due south of Greytown. It forms the headwaters of the Umvoti river. The terrain is almost flat. The wetland owes its existence to a sill of tough sandstone that has retarded downcutting of the Umvoti river. There is some open water at the lower end of the vlei, where clay soils impede drainage. However, the major part of the site, where the soils are alluvial, is a dense, tall, permanently flooded reedbed Phragmites. Sedge meadows with Cyperus, Carex, Leersia and Juncus form narrow fringes in places.

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  Vulnerable 
Black Harrier Circus maurus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Corncrake Crex crex winter  present  A1  Least Concern 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Umvoti Vlei Provincial Nature Reserve 461 protected area contained by site 267  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Shrubland   24%
Forest   75%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 10%
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Taylor (1997a,b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Umvoti Vlei. Downloaded from on 11/07/2014

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