|Location||South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal|
|Central coordinates||29o 53.00' East 29o 42.00' South|
|Altitude||935 - 1,586m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Summary The reserve centre lies 11 km due south of Impendle town, and about 50 km west of Pietermaritzburg. The terrain is undulating, steep and rocky at the highest points, and dissected with small river drainage lines that fall over a minor escarpment as they join the Umkomaas River. The site is predominantly grassland. The vlei is very good for African Marsh Harrier Circus ranivorus, Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum and occasionnaly Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus.
Site description The reserve centre lies 11 km due south of Impendle town, and about 50 km west of Pietermaritzburg. The terrain is undulating, steep and rocky at the highest points, and dissected by small rivers that fall over a minor escarpment as they join the Umkomaas river, which forms much of the site’s southern boundary. The site is predominantly grassland. Some of this has been lost to agriculture, but over 2,000 ha remain, mostly as highland sourveld but with some southern tall grassveld remaining. There are small stands of Protea on some of the higher rocky slopes. About 900 ha of forest is present in the reserve, and the famous ‘seven-mile-bush’ is part of this. Trees of Podocarpus and Scolopia are dominant, with Kiggelaria and Pittosporum also occurring commonly.
Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. The vlei is very good for Balearica regulorum and occasionally for Grus carunculatus. The surrounding rolling grassland holds six pairs, perhaps eight, of Hirundo atrocaerulea. Grus paradisea and Neotis denhami are also present. A flock of Geronticus calvus is often present. The forest is home to Lioptilus nigricapillus, Zoothera gurneyi, Tauraco corythaix and Serinus scotops.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea||breeding||1998||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus||resident||1998||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming||past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||wood and pulp plantations (includes afforestation) - agro-industry plantations||past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Biological resource use||gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target)||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Biological resource use||hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target)||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Climate change and severe weather||storms and floods||likely in short term (within 4 years)||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||war, civil unrest and military exercises||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||work and other activities||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - small dams||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Natural system modifications||fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Residential and commercial development||tourism and recreation areas||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Transportation and service corridors||utility & service lines||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Forest||0||0||good (> 90%)||moderate (70-90%)||near favourable|
|Grassland||0||0||good (> 90%)||moderate (70-90%)||near favourable|
|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||Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity||high|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Impendle||Nature Reserve||8,759||is identical to site||8,759|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Impendle Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/07/2015
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