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Location South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 29o 50.00' East  29o 29.00' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 957 ha
Altitude 1,840 - 2,081m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary Umgeni Vlei is located 20 km due southwest of Nottingham Road in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands. The main vlei is about 300 ha in extent, and is underlain by Karroo dolerite.The vlei is a large sponge that is the source of the Umgeni River. Main habitat types include marsh areas dominated by sedges, flooded grassland and areas of Highland Sourveld surrounding the vlei. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus resident  10 breeding pairs  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  1 breeding pairs  A1  Vulnerable 
Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus resident  present  A1  Least Concern 
Drakensberg Rockjumper Chaetops aurantius resident  1998  present  A1  Least Concern 
Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata resident  1998  present  A1  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Pipit Anthus chloris resident  1998  present  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed high
unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather drought likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Grassland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Wetlands (inland) Montane bogs, swamps and mires  0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Anthropoides paradiseus Blue Crane 2 2 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Bugeranus carunculatus Wattled Crane 10 5 breeding pairs 50 unfavourable
Geocolaptes olivaceus Ground Woodpecker 10 10 breeding pairs 100 not assessed
Chaetops aurantius Drakensberg Rockjumper 30 30 individuals 100 not assessed
Oenanthe bifasciata Buff-streaked Chat 20 20 breeding pairs 100 not assessed
Anthus chloris Yellow-breasted Pipit 5 5 breeding pairs 100 not assessed

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Umgeni Vlei Provincial Nature Reserve 957 protected area contains site 957  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Woodland - mixed  -
Grassland Grassland - edaphic, wet  -
Wetlands (inland) Montane bogs, swamps and mires  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
water management 60%
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Umgeni Vlei Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife