Country/territory: South Africa

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

Area: 40,000 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 IBA consists primarily of private farmland in the Fouriesburg, Bethlehem and Clarens districts. The major part of the area is cultivated land, but some large patches of natural grassland and areas of rocky outcrops remain in this matrix. Several areas of sandstone are deeply incised by rivers, creating impressive cliffs. Highland sourveld dominates the vegetation. In the deeper valleys and krantzes, woody communities encroach; dominants in the thickets include Cliffortia, Leucosidea, Buddleja, Cussonia, Rhus, Diospyros and Protasparagus. On the flatter, deeper soils of the mountain slopes and plateau, Protea woodland dominates.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. This site supports several breeding colonies of Geronticus calvus. The larger and better-known colonies occur on the farms Avondzon (13+ pairs), Belleuvue 399 (10+ pairs), Bramley’s Hoek 52 (13+ pairs), Welgelegen 102 (20+ pairs) and on the South African National Defence Force (ZANDF) owned Vaalbank Training Area (22–30 pairs). Many other smaller colonies and individual pairs breed elsewhere in the district, but birds do not remain faithful to these sites. Geronticus calvus are regularly seen foraging alongside Grus paradisea, Balearica regulorum and Eupodotis caerulescens in the grasslands. Gyps coprotheres, Gypaetus barbatus and Polemaetus bellicosus are occasional visitors to the area, but no longer breed in the IBA. The grassy slopes are home to Saxicola bifasciata, Monticola explorator and (on Protea-covered slopes) Promerops gurneyi. Falco naumanni is a regular summer visitor and Circus maurus a regular winter visitor.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rooiberge-Riemland. Downloaded from on 02/12/2020.