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The north-westerly trending Cedarberg mountains are c.90 km long by 25 km wide and rise steeply above the Olifants river valley (170 m). Citrusdal, at about 170 m, is barely 17 km from Sneeuberg (2,027 m), the highest peak in the range. The Cedarberg forms the northern spine of the watershed between the Olifants river to the west and the Tankwa-Doring river system to the east. Directly south of the Cedarberg Wilderness Area, the Koue Bokkeveld and Groot Winterhoek mountains are the continuation of this sandstone chain.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The mountain fynbos holds all of the Cape Fynbos restricted-range and biome-restricted species. Nectarinia violacea is widespread in the ericas, while Promerops cafer is almost restricted to the proteoid elements and Serinus leucopterus is found in proteoid woodland and arid scrub at the base of the Cedarberg. Francolinus capensis, Pycnonotus capensis and Serinus totta are widespread within the fynbos, while Bradypterus victorini is found at moist seeps in the hilly areas. Chaetops frenatus is common on most rocky slopes above 1,000 m.
Non-bird biodiversity: Although botanical description of this area is incomplete it is known to hold an exceptional number of plant species, many of which are endemic. The cedar Widdringtonia cedarbergensis (EN) occurs in the special Cedar Reserve within the Cedarberg Wilderness Area. The IBA holds most of the Olifants river catchment, which has a remarkable incidence of endemism among freshwater fish. It is one of only two river systems in southern Africa to have more than two taxa restricted to its catchment. All eight of the catchment’s endemic species are found in this IBA, including Barbus phlegethon (EN), B. erubescens (CR), B. serra (EN), B. capensis (VU), B. calidus (EN), Austroglanis barnardi (CR), A. gilli (VU) and Labeo seeberi (CR).Among herptiles, both Bitis rubida, described in 1997, and Cordylus mclachlani (VU) have global ranges virtually restricted to the Tanqwa Karoo portion of this IBA. Goggia hexapora and G. microlepidota are globally restricted to the mountains of the IBA. Australolacerta australis occurs in only this IBA and one other, the Eastern False Bay mountains (IBA ZA086). Capensibufo tradouwi breeds in moist depressions, vleis and springs in Western Cape mountains and it is found in the Cedarberg and the Southern Langeberg mountains (IBA ZA092). Nucras tessellata, Cordylosaurus subtessellatus, Gerrhosaurus typicus (LR/nt), Cordylus cataphractus (VU), C. polyzonus, Pseudocordylus capensis, Agama hispida, Afrogecko porphyreus, Chondrodactylus angulifer, Goggia lineata, Pachydactylus rugosus and P. serval are all found within the Cedarberg–Koue Bokkeveld complex.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cedarberg - Koue Bokkeveld complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/01/2021.