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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 31.00' East  34o 5.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 3,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description This proposed park is centred on Strandfontein Sewage Works, but also includes Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei. Situated on the Cape Flats between Muizenberg and Mitchell’s Plain, 20 km south of Cape Town, Strandfontein, like many wetlands around South Africa’s major cities, is almost entirely man-made. Prior to 1922 the only wetland habitat at the site was the small temporary marsh Tamatievlei. In 1922, a small sewage works was built, and additional water was channelled into the system from the nearby Zeekoevlei. Over the years the complex has been enlarged progressively. By 1976 the small water-body, Tamatievlei, had been converted into 34 settling ponds covering over 306 ha.

The system provides a range of semi-natural habitats, including deep and shallow open water, seasonal open ponds, canals with aquatic vegetation, reed, rush and sedge-beds, bare and vegetated shorelines and islands. Well-grassed banks separate the ponds. The sewage works functions entirely by algal decomposition, a process that requires a large number of shallow vleis. The algae and the large number of copepods which accompany them provide a rich food supply for many bird species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Francolin Francolinus capensis resident  1998    Least Concern 
South African Shelduck Tadorna cana non-breeding  87-477 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Cape Shoveler Anas smithii non-breeding  603-1,418 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma non-breeding  346-1,332 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis non-breeding  403-628 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus non-breeding  25-51 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis non-breeding  328-1,380 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus non-breeding  1,878-4,328 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor non-breeding  present [units unknown]  A1  Near Threatened 
Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis breeding  1,000-15,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis non-breeding  2,665-40,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta non-breeding  467-942 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus non-breeding  996-3,685 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
King Gull Larus hartlaubii non-breeding  1,156-3,506 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii non-breeding  753 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis winter  3,027 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  1,025-6,832 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis resident  1998    Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds resident  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -
Wetlands (inland) Sand dunes and beaches - riverine  -

Land use

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

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Allan et al. (1990), Ashkenazi (1986), Berruti and Sinclair (1983), Broekhuysen and Frost (1968), Chittenden (1992), Cooper and Pringle (1977), Cooper et al. (1976), Kalejta-Summers et al. (in press b), Longrigg (1982), Ryan et al. (1988), Schneider (1996), Summers et al. (1977), Turpie (1995), Underhill and Cooper (1984), Winterbottom (1960, 1968b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: False Bay Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 21/04/2014

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