|Location||South Africa, Western Cape|
|Central coordinates||22o 35.00' East 32o 15.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4ii|
|Altitude||1,032 - 1,932m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The semi-arid Karoo National Park is situated in the central Great Karoo, just north of Beaufort West. The IBA incorporates the park, the town of Beaufort West and its sewage works. The dominant topographical feature is the impressive Nuweveld escarpment, which towers over the lower plains. Riverbeds, which are dry for most of the year, descend sharply from the escarpment to meander across the flat plains in the far west and east of the park.The stark variation in altitude yields a wide diversity of microhabitats, resulting in a distinct contrast between the harsher vegetation of the upper plateau, where grassveld intruded by fynbos elements is dominant, and the lower plain where dwarf scrub dominates and thornveld occurs in the moister valleys and watercourses. The scrub vegetation, which covers much of the plains and lower escarpment, is dominated by Nama Karoo shrubs seldom exceeding 70 cm in height. The vegetation becomes non-succulent as the altitude increases, with thicket of Dodonaea and Rhus occurring at height. Grasses begin to dominate on the Nuweveld Plateau. Belts of riverine Acacia thicket line the mostly dry riverbeds, creating a network of tree-lines that stretch throughout the park’s plains.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||winter||-||1,000-3,000 individuals||-||A1, A4ii||Least Concern|
|Ludwig's Bustard Neotis ludwigii||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Endangered|
|Karoo Bustard Heterotetrax vigorsii||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Karoo Long-billed Lark Certhilauda subcoronata||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Karoo Lark Certhilauda albescens||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sclater's Lark Spizocorys sclateri||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Near Threatened|
|Black-eared Sparrow-lark Eremopterix australis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Namaqua Warbler Phragmacia substriata||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Kopje Warbler Euryptila subcinnamomea||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-rumped Eremomela Eremomela gregalis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Layard's Warbler Sylvia layardi||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale-winged Starling Onychognathus nabouroup||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|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Camdeboo||National Park||14,745||protected area contained by site||16,500|
|Karoo||National Park||76,788||protected area contained by site||43,261|
Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.
|Karoo National Park Honorary Officers||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Shrubland - Cape (fynbos); Shrubland - dwarf Karroo||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity Among reptiles, Goggia braacki and Pachydactylus kladeroderma both have global ranges restricted to the eastern portion of the Nuweveld escarpment, and they may occur within the park. Cordylus cloetei, another Nuweveld-escarpment endemic, occurs at nearby Fraserberg and should be searched for in the park. It is conservation policy to restock the park with mammalian game species that roamed these plains prior to human intervention, and the threatened Diceros bicornis (CR), Equus zebra (VU; the second largest population in the world) and Bunolagus monticularis (EN) have been reintroduced.
References Allan (1989, 1994b), Claassen and Claassen (1991), Davies (1994), de Graaf et al. (1979), Martin and Martin (1970), Martin et al. (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988), Pepler (1994a,b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karoo National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2014
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