|Location||South Africa, Western Cape|
|Central coordinates||18o 29.00' East 33o 50.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This reserve lies between Tableview and Milnerton in the northern sector of the Greater Cape Town Metropolitan Area, 10–15 km north-east of the city centre. 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. These habitats include shallow marine waters, estuarine waters, sand/shingle shores, tidal mudflats, saltmarshes, coastal brackish saline lagoons, rivers, streams and creeks, permanent freshwater lakes and permanent and seasonal freshwater marshes and pools.Five distinctive wetland plant communities occur: perennial wetland, reed-marsh, sedge-marsh, open pans and sedge pans. The perennial wetland is characterized by scant aquatic vegetation, dominated by Ruppia, Potamogeton and Enteromorpha. The reed-marsh is dominated by Phragmites, invaded in places by Typha. The sedge-marsh is dominated by Bolboschoenus and Juncus. The open pans are sparsely covered in macrophytes, consisting mainly of Limosella and Salicornia, and the sedge pans are dominated by Bolboschoenus in summer and Aponogeton and Spiloxene in winter. Zooplankton multiply rapidly after winter flooding and disappear in summer as the water dries up. In the estuary there is a range of salinities, resulting in a diverse community of zooplankton. The invertebrate fauna is a vital food source for birds and fish, the most abundant fish in the wetland being Liza richardsoni.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Cape Shoveler Anas 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|
|King Gull Larus hartlaubii||breeding||-||150-375 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|King Gull Larus hartlaubii||winter||-||543-1,102 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|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||-|
|Shrubland||Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
|nature conservation and research||94%|
Other biodiversity Urban development and encroachment by non-native plants threaten the herptiles Cacosternum capense (LR/nt), Hyperolius horstockii, Bradypodion pumilum (CR) and B. occidentale, which all live on the wetland fringes.
References Allan (1993b, 1995c, 1996a), Allan et al. (1996b), Branch (1988), Cooper et al. (1976), CSIR (1994), Grindley and Dudley (1988), Kalejta and Allan (1993), Kalejta-Summers et al. (in press a), Rowlands (1983), Ryan et al. (1988), Scott (1954), Summers et al. (1976, 1977), Turpie (1995), Underhill and Cooper (1984), Winterbottom (1960, 1968b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rietvlei Wetland Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/07/2014
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