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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 28.00' East  32o 23.00' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 1,700 ha
Altitude 0 - 343m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary Verlorenvlei is a closed coastal estuarine-lake and marsh system fed by an intermittent allogenic river. The estuary mouth lies along the Atlantic Ocean. Verlorenvlei is one of the largest natural wetlands along southern Africa's west coast, and it is one of the few coastal freshwater lakes in South Africa. The wetland regularly supports over 5 000 birds and occasionally it holds over 20 000, including over a thousand waders of at least 11 different species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
South African Shelduck Tadorna cana winter  288-470 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Cape Shoveler Spatula smithii winter  103-600 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus resident  5-20 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus winter  87-123 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta non-breeding  78-452 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii winter  209-377 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2012 high not assessed low
unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species habitat effects - gathering plants likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution domestic and urban waste water likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution garbage and solid waste likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution light pollution happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution noise pollution happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors flight paths happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  0 0 poor (40-69%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters  0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable
Wetlands (inland) Saline lakes  0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable

Alopochen aegyptiaca Egyptian Goose 2014 2014 individuals 100 favourable
Tadorna cana South African Shelduck 470 489 individuals 100 favourable
Spatula smithii Cape Shoveler 600 615 individuals 100 favourable
Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe 123 140 individuals 100 favourable
Pelecanus onocrotalus Great White Pelican 478 478 individuals 100 favourable
Circus ranivorus African Marsh-harrier 30 9 individuals 30 very unfavourable
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 452 1256 individuals 100 favourable
Larus hartlaubii Hartlaub's Gull 377 377 individuals 100 favourable
Hydroprogne caspia Caspian Tern 31 34 individuals 100 favourable

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  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Verlorenvlei Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,500 protected area contained by site 1,500  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Elands Bay environmental group. 0

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Saline lakes  -
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Verlorenvlei Estuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2014

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