email a friend
printable version
Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 19o 8.00' East  33o 47.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 250,000 ha
Altitude 150 - 2,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description The site encompasses a chain of mountains that have been designated as State Forests, Mountain Catchment Areas and Nature Reserves. The IBA runs north from the Kogelberg State Forest (near Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond) for 120 km to the Kluitjieskraal State Forest south-west of Tulbagh. The mesic mountain fynbos is dominated by a multitude of communities; the primary fynbos constituents are species of Proteaceae, Ericaceae and Restionaceae. Small, isolated Afromontane forest patches, in deep secluded mesic gorges, are dominated by trees of Cunonia, Halleria, Pterocelastrus, Rapanea and Podocarpus. Shrubs, ferns, climbers and epiphytes also occur.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Francolin Francolinus capensis resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black Harrier Circus maurus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus resident  present  A1  Vulnerable 
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 areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site 553,000 protected area overlaps with site 105,348  
Hawequas Mountain Catchment Area 50,803 protected area contained by site 64,634  
Hottentots-holland Provincial Nature Reserve 27,077 protected area contained by site 24,569  
Kogelberg Provincial Nature Reserve 19,891 protected area contained by site 14,006  
Kogelberg UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 103,629 protected area contained by site 103,629  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Montane forest - mixed  -
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 42%
tourism/recreation -
water management 5%
nature conservation and research 100%

Other biodiversity This area is thought to contain c.2,500 plant species, most of which are endemic to the Cape Floral Kingdom, and many have global ranges entirely restricted to the IBA. Within the IBA, the Kogelberg area alone has 150 endemic plant species, and is often considered to be the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Many spectacular species occur in the IBA, including the endemic, critically threatened ‘marsh rose’ Orothamnus zeyheri (Proteaceae). Once on the brink of extinction, it is now known to occur on several inaccessible peaks in the IBA. The endangered Mimetes hottentoticus and M. capitulatus are also found here. Microbatrachella capensis (EN) occurs in the south.

The IBA covers a large portion of the catchment of the Berg river, and along with it, supports several of the Western Cape’s endemic fish, including Barbus burgi (CR) and B. andrewi (VU). Pseudocordylus nebulosa has a global range restricted to the mountains of this IBA. Poyntonia paludicola, described in 1989, is also virtually endemic to this IBA, where it breeds in shallow streams, seepages and marshy areas on upper mountain slopes.Australolacerta australis occurs here and at only one other site (IBA ZA080), and Cacosternum capense, Breviceps gibbosus, B. montanus and Afroedura hawequensis have most of their global ranges in this IBA. Western Cape endemics occurring in the Eastern False Bay mountains include Tropidosaura gularis, Pseudocordylus capensis, Afrogecko porphyreus and the spectacular Heleophryne purcelli, Arthroleptella lightfooti and Capensibufo rosei (LR/nt), which are all restricted to perennial streams in forested boulder-strewn gorges in montane areas and shallow, water-filled depressions in montane fynbos. Hyperolius horstockii occurs in the lowlands with flowering lilies.

References Cowling (1992), le Maitre (1984), Richardson et al. (1992), van Wilgen et al. (1992).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Eastern False Bay mountains. Downloaded from on 22/07/2014

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