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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 20o 37.00' East  33o 25.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 34,015 ha
Altitude 1,000 - 1,622m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary The reserve is one of the largest in the Western Cape and it lies in part of the Anysberg Mountain Catchment Area, which eventually drains into the Gourits River system. Despite a low diversity in birds, the reserve supports many Fynbos and Namib-Karoo biome-restricted assemblage species, as well as supporting many other arid-zone specials.

Site description Located 20 km south of Matjiesfontein and 20 km south-west of Laingsburg, the Anysberg Nature Reserve is situated on the poorly known western fringe of the Little Karoo in a broad fynbos–Karoo transition zone. The reserve is one of the largest in the Western Cape and it lies in part of the Anysberg Mountain Catchment Area, which drains into the Gourits river system. The topography is mainly mountainous, interspersed with wide open valleys. The southern and northern boundaries of the reserve are formed by the Anysberg (1,622 m) and Suurkloofse Berg (1,512 m) ranges respectively. A third, drier mountain range, Matjiesgoedberg, dominates the central sector of the reserve.

Two major vegetation-types are present: Karoo scrub and bush on the plains and lower slopes, and montane fynbos at higher elevations. The great altitudinal variation yields a wide diversity of microhabitats. The scrub vegetation of the plains and lower escarpment consists chiefly of shrubs smaller than 70 cm in height. Members of the Mesembryanthemaceae, which can be very local in their distribution, dominate the vegetation. Belts of Acacia-dominated vegetation line the mostly dry riverbeds. Low stony ridges hold transitional vegetation, with Rhigozum dominating. As the vegetation stretches up the mountains, fynbos elements appear, and there are extensive stands of Protea woodland in the wetter areas.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. A total of 164 bird species have been recorded in the reserve. The lowland karroid plains are particularly good for Neotis ludwigii, Eupodotis vigorsii, Certhilauda albescens, Cercomela schlegelii, Eremomela gregalis and Malcorus pectoralis. Circus maurus are sometimes seen quartering the plains where Grus paradisea occasionally occur. Serinus alario occurs whenever there is seeding grass and water. The belts of riverine Acacia woodland support Phragmacia substriata and provide food, shelter and breeding habitat for many species, while the thicket and scrub on the slopes supports Sylvia layardi and Parus afer. Onychognathus nabouroup and Geocolaptes olivaceus occur in the rocky gorges and kloofs. At higher altitudes, fynbos holds Nectarinia violacea and Serinus totta. Promerops cafer is associated with the Protea bushes. Bradypterus victorini occurs locally in the seeps and adjacent mesic scrub while Chaetops frenatus are found on exposed rocky slopes at high altitudes. Occasionally Falco naumanni are seen foraging over the reserve.

Non-bird biodiversity: Among reptiles, this is one of the very few places holding the highly range-restricted Bitis rubida, Scelotes caffer, Bradypodion gutturale and Goggia hewitti.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Cape Siskin Serinus totta resident  1998  present  A1, A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium favourable high
Habitat
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Climate change and severe weather drought likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather temperature extremes likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Anysberg Provincial Nature Reserve 46,530 protected area contains site 34,015  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

References Allan (1989, 1994b, 1995b), Martin et al. (1988), Pepler (1994a,b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Anysberg Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2015

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