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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 

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  


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 on 23/08/2014

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