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Location South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 30o 16.00' East  29o 24.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 1,748 ha
Altitude 1,200 - 1,720m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Site description The site is located 19 km north of Howick. It is not the same entity as the Karkloof Forest, which is part of the KwaZulu-Natal mistbelt forest (IBA ZA053). The western part of the reserve consists mainly of evergreen forest, with some Natal mistbelt grassland. Trees of Podocarpus, Celtis, Combretum, Cryptocarya and Xymalos are characteristic of the mature forest. In the lower forest strata Halleria, Maytenus and Carissa are typical. Forest-edges and forest patches in early successional stages have shrubs of Leucosidea, Buddleja and Rhamnus. In places in the grassland, Protea forms sparse open woodland. The eastern part of the reserve is mostly vlei and wet grassland (highland sourveld). There are two major vleis, Melmoth (104 ha) and Nyumbhakazi (35 ha). These are mainly sedge meadows with Cyperus, Carex, Mariscus, Pycreus and Kyllinga.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Striped Flufftail Sarothrura affinis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Knysna Turaco Tauraco corythaix resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Olive Bush-shrike Telophorus olivaceus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Orange Ground-thrush Zoothera gurneyi resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Chorister Robin-chat Cossypha dichroa resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A1, A3  Least Concern 
Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Canary Serinus scotops resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A2, A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Karkloof Provincial Nature Reserve 2,082 protected area contains site 1,748  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland)   13%
Shrubland   30%
Forest   56%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
nature conservation and research 100%
water management 80%

Other biodiversity Several rare trees are found in the forest including Ocotea bullata, Curtisia dentata and Scolopia flanaganii, with Alberta magna (LR/nt) on the margin. Near-endemic plants in the grassland include Geranium natalense and Dierama luteo-albidum. Mammals include the South African endemic Pelea capreolus. An exceptionally rare and localized butterfly, Orachrysops ariadne (VU), occurs just outside the reserve and may well be found within it.

References Taylor (1961), Taylor (1997b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karkloof Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/04/2014

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