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Location South Africa, Eastern Cape
Central coordinates 26o 16.00' East  33o 42.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 15,460 ha
Altitude 0 - 408m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Summary This IBA is a stretch of coastal dunefield, running from the Sundays River Mouth to Cannon Rocks. The IBA includes Alexandria Forest and the coastal grasslands inland of the dunefield. This vast dune sea is considered by some to be the best example of a mobile dune system in the world.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Buteo oreophilus resident  1998  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Black Harrier Circus maurus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
African Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini breeding  50-249 individuals  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Damara Tern Sternula balaenarum breeding  common  A1  Near Threatened 
Knysna Turaco Tauraco corythaix resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Knysna Woodpecker Campethera notata resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Olive Bush-shrike Telophorus olivaceus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Knysna Warbler Bradypterus sylvaticus resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chorister Robin-chat Cossypha dichroa resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Brown Scrub-robin Erythropygia signata resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Swee Waxbill Estrilda melanotis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Forest Canary Serinus scotops resident  1998  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2006 low not assessed medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Some of site covered (10-49%)  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  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Agricultural Land Designation Not Known 4,362 protected area contained by site 4,362  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Sand dunes and beaches - coastal  -
Grassland   -
Forest Montane forest - mixed  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 20%
tourism/recreation -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research 7%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Alexandria coastal belt. Downloaded from on 07/05/2015

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