email a friend
printable version
Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 12.00' East  31o 42.00' South
IBA criteria A3, A4i
Area 2,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary The Olifants River Estuary lies approximately 250 km northwest of Cape Town; it is one of only four perennial estuaries on the west coast of southern Africa. The catchment lies within a winter rainfall area and during winter freshwater flow is strong. Approximately 125 bird species have been recorded at the estuary and its environs; at least 60 of these are waterbirds. The Olifants River Estuary regularly supports over 15 000 waterbirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ludwig's Bustard Neotis ludwigii resident  1998  present  A3  Endangered 
Karoo Bustard Heterotetrax vigorsii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea winter  2,131-5,362 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Karoo Lark Certhilauda albescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Namaqua Warbler Phragmacia substriata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Layard's Warbler Sylvia layardi resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sicklewing Chat Cercomela sinuata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Karoo Chat Cercomela schlegelii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tractrac Chat Cercomela tractrac resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Canary Serinus alario resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters  -
Grassland   100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport -
nature conservation and research 60%
urban/industrial/transport -

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Olifants river estuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/08/2014

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