|Location||South Africa, Eastern Cape|
|Central coordinates||29o 59.00' East 31o 16.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 300m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The Mkambati Nature Reserve is situated on the coast of north-east Pondoland in the Eastern Cape. It is bounded by the Mtenu river in the north and the Mzikaba river in the south; in the east, between the two river mouths, it holds a 13 km stretch of pristine coastline. The reserve stretches inland c.5 km along the Mzikaba river and c.9.5 km along the Mtenu river. The gentle topography is interrupted by two steps (ancient shorelines) parallel to the coast, the first at 85 m elevation and the second at 190 m. The Mtenu river reaches the ocean through a long, incised and meandering gorge. Table Mountain sandstone cliffs flank the river, rising 300 m from the riverbed to meet the surrounding plains. The Mtenu river forms a spectacular waterfall c.9 km upstream of the coast. The waterfall has cut an almost straight cliff-face some 500 m wide. The cliffs are for the most part sheer, beginning at the coast and continuing inland for about 10–20 km.The vegetation is primarily Pondoland coastal plateau sourveld grassland, on poor but well-drained soils. The grasses are low in nutrient content and are of little agricultural value to commercial or subsistence farmers. Surprisingly large numbers of fynbos species also occur, in unburned grasslands or on rock outcrops where they are protected from regular fires. Small forest patches exist in the river gorges and on the coastal sand-dunes.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres||resident||-||40-70 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4ii||Vulnerable|
|Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres||winter||-||85-140 individuals||-||A4ii||Vulnerable|
|Knysna Turaco Tauraco corythaix||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Knysna Woodpecker Campethera notata||resident||-||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Olive Bush-shrike Telophorus olivaceus||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Spotted Ground-thrush Zoothera guttata||unknown||-||present||-||A1||Endangered|
|White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chorister Robin-chat Cossypha dichroa||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Buff-streaked Chat Oenanthe bifasciata||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A3||Least Concern|
|Gurney's Sugarbird Promerops gurneyi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Forest Canary Serinus scotops||resident||1998||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Mkambathi||Nature Reserve||8,000||is identical to site||8,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||71%|
|Coastline||Sand dunes & beaches; Sea cliffs & rocky shores||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity The area is particularly rich in highly localized endemic frogs—Afrixalus knysnae, Arthroleptella hewitti and Arthroleptis wahlbergi all occur along this coastal region and possibly occur within the reserve. There are c.1,600 reintroduced wild ungulates in the reserve, including the nationally endemic Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi.
References Piper and Ruddle (1986), Shackleton (1990), Shackleton et al. (1991).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mkambati Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014
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