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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 

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


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 on 23/09/2014

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