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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 29.00' East  33o 50.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 527 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Summary This reserve lies between Tableview and Milnerton in the northern sector of the Greater Cape Town Metropolitan area. A range of natural and semi-natural habitats exists in this fluctuating wetland, which floods in winter, and dries out in summer when the estuary mouth closes. The high diversity of waterbirds is due to the wide range of wetland habitats present and the proximity of Rietvlei to the ocean, which allows both freshwater and coastal species to exploit the system.  

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Shoveler Spatula smithii winter  337-506 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus winter  54 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
African Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini winter  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta non-breeding  263-669 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus winter  665 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii breeding  150-375 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii winter  543-1,102 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Rietvlei Wetland Reserve Nature Reserve 527 is identical to site 527  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Freshwater lakes and pools; Rivers & streams  -
Sea Shallow marine waters  -
Grassland   100%
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation -
nature conservation and research 94%
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rietvlei Wetland Reserve. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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