|Location||South Africa, Western Cape|
|Central coordinates||22o 4.00' East 33o 20.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||700 - 2,325m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The mainly sandstone Swartberg mountain range runs east–west parallel to the Outeniqua mountains (IBA ZA091). The Seweweekspoort splits the Swartberg into the western Klein Swartberg and the eastern Groot Swartberg. The Groot Swartberg runs some 170 km from the Seweweekspoort to c.20 km south-west of Willowmore. East of Blesberg peak, the range recedes, forming the Great Karoo plateau to the north and Little Karoo to the south.The stark variation in altitude yields a wide diversity of microhabitats. Montane fynbos is found at higher altitudes and karroid and renosterveld shrubland are found on the lower slopes. The northern slopes support arid fynbos. Very small pockets of Afromontane forest are found in deep secluded mesic gorges on the southern slopes and are dominated by trees of Cunonia, Halleria, Pterocelastrus and Rapanea. The base of the southern slopes consists of renosterbosveld.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Cape Francolin Pternistis capensis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus||resident||-||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis||resident||1998||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Victorin's Scrub-warbler Bradypterus victorini||resident||1998||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Cape Rock-jumper Chaetops frenatus||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Orange-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia violacea||resident||1998||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Cape Sugarbird Promerops cafer||resident||1998||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Protea Canary Serinus leucopterus||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Cape Siskin Serinus totta||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Anysberg||Provincial Nature Reserve||46,530||protected area contained by site||34,000|
|Cape Floral Region Protected Areas||World Heritage Site||553,000||protected area overlaps with site||96,473|
|Groot Swartberg||Provincial Nature Reserve||83,927||protected area contained by site||81,496|
|Klein Swartberg||Mountain Catchment Area||26,548||protected area contained by site||17,999|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||28%|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity Being in the centre of the Cape Floral Kingdom, this area is thought to hold c.2,000 plant species, several of which are endemic and/or threatened. Thirteen species of high-altitude or alpine endemics are restricted to the Swartberg mountains: Agathosma purpurea, Protea pruinosa, Restio papyraceus, Leucadendron dregei, Phylica stokoei, P. costata, Pentameris swartbergensis, Thamnochortus papyraceus, Cliffortia setifolia, C. crassinerve, Euryops glutinosus, Erica constatisepala and E. toringbergensis. The global range of the recently described lizard Afrogecko swartbergensis is restricted to the northern slopes of summits in the Swartberg mountains.
References Bond (1981), Winterbottom (1968).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Swartberg mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/07/2014
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