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Location South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Central coordinates 32o 1.00' East  28o 50.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 1,200 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Summary Located c. 190 km north of Durban, this site consists of the Richards Bay Game Reserve, which was formed when a berm wall was erected across Richards Bay estuary in 1976. The sanctuary portion of Richards Bay regularly holds over 20 000 waterbirds. When migrants are present, in summer, up to 50 000 waterbirds have been counted. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus winter  70-238 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
African Spoonbill Platalea alba winter  69-150 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo winter  3,573-13,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  1,157-2,037 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Richards Bay Provincial Nature Reserve 1,340 protected area contains site 1,200  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Mangroves; Montane bogs, swamps and mires  -
Forest   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research 100%
nature conservation and research 100%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Richards Bay Game Reserve. Downloaded from on 26/04/2015

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