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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 19o 54.00' East  34o 25.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 300,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 400m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description Located at the southern tip of the African continent, this large agricultural district stretches from Caledon to Riversdale and encompasses the area south of these two towns, running between the coastal towns of Hermanus and Stilbaai. De Hoop Nature Reserve, which abuts this area, is considered a separate IBA (IBA ZA098). The topography consists of low-lying rolling coastal plains. The landscape consists primarily of cereal croplands and cultivated wheat pastures and crop fields, although a fair amount of natural vegetation still remains along the coast, especially on the Soetanysberg and Agulhas Plain, which hold at least 1,700 plant species. The coast holds thicket, which is dominated by forest patches of milkwood Sideroxylon. Localized, fragmented patches of renosterveld are found throughout the area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Francolin Francolinus capensis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Black Harrier Circus maurus resident  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Karoo Bustard Eupodotis vigorsii resident  1998    Least Concern 
Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus winter  2,914-3,484 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Knysna Woodpecker Campethera notata resident  1998    Near Threatened 
Cape Long-billed Lark Certhilauda curvirostris resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Sicklewing Chat Cercomela sinuata resident  1998    Least Concern 
Orange-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia violacea resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Cape Sugarbird Promerops cafer resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Cape Siskin Serinus totta resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A2, A3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research 2%
nature conservation and research 20%
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity The area is extremely rich in highly threatened endemic flora, including the spectacular Leucadendron elimense, L. modestum and L. laxum. The discovery of a new species of Proteaceae, Serruria nova, in 1998, suggests that complete surveys of the area will yield many new endemic species. Among frogs, the spectacular Hyperolius horstockii occurs and Heleophryne purcelli may occur in montane rivers in the wheatbelt matrix.

References Allan (1989, 1992, 1993a, 1994a,c, 1995a,b, 1996b), Allan and Young (1998), Anderson (1990), Cowling et al. (1988), Hitchcock (1996), Scott (1992), Siegfried (1985), Tarboton (1992), van Ee (1981).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Overberg Wheatbelt. Downloaded from on 16/04/2014

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