Amersfoort - Bethal - Carolina District

Country/territory: South Africa

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii (1998)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 120,000 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife South Africa
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 high very unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This area is bounded by the main roads between the following towns: Ermelo, Amersfoort, Bethal, Hendrina and Carolina. It consists mostly of flat to undulating farmland between 1,650 and 1,832 m. In a landscape dominated by maize, several remnant patches of moist clay highveld grassland are scattered throughout the district, growing on black vertic clays. The grasslands hold several streams and pans, as well as the Willem-Brummer Dam near Ermelo. Rocky slopes, gullies and ravines favour the development of thicket, dominated by Leucosidea, Buddleja and Rhamnus. In the deeper, fire-protected gullies, secondary forest occasionally develops, with trees of Euclea, Diospyros, Myrsine and Rhus.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This site holds a large proportion of the global population of Spizocorys fringillaris. The grassland areas also hold Neotis denhami, Eupodotis senegalensis, Saxicola bifasciata, Monticola explorator and Geronticus calvus. Falco naumanni, Glareola nordmanni and (less frequently) Circus macrourus can be seen quartering the grasslands. Occasionally, all of South Africa’s crane species can be found in the grasslands or cropfields within the site.

Non-bird biodiversity: Two highly localized and threatened forbs, Gladiolus robertsoniae and Nerine gracilis, are found in the remaining grassland patches within this site.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Amersfoort - Bethal - Carolina District. Downloaded from on 18/11/2019.