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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 16.00' East  32o 47.00' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 6,621 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary The Berg River wetland IBA covers an area of approximately 6 621 Ha and is located 140 km north of Cape Town. From its source, the river flows through the towns of Paarl and Wellington before arching west, meeting the Atlantic Ocean at Laaiplek. Since 1975, approximately 250 bird species have been recorded on and adjacent to the Lower Berg River; 127 of which are waterbirds. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Shoveler Spatula smithii winter  113-603 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  1,564-3,932 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
African Spoonbill Platalea alba resident  20-50 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
African Spoonbill Platalea alba winter  152-294 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  236-2,273 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius resident  200-400 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius winter  496-1,087 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea winter  8,281-16,881 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus breeding  250-500 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus winter  657-1,640 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii breeding  500-670 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii winter  1,341-2,030 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia non-breeding  106-199 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii winter  160-646 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis winter  695-1,555 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  394-2,623 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed negligible
  unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - agro-industry grazing, ranching or farmin happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes introduced genetic material happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species/diseases - unspecified species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution air-borne pollutants - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors flight paths happening now some of area/population (10-49%) 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%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cape West Coast UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 378,240 protected area contains site 6,621  

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

Name Year formed
West coast bird club 0
Heritage society 0
Botanical society 0
Lower berg river conservation association 0

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Salt marshes; Saltpans  -
Rocky areas   3%
Grassland   96%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
water management 30%
nature conservation and research -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lower Berg river wetlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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