Boland Mountains

Country/territory: South Africa

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

Area: 250,000 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife South Africa
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 high not assessed high
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The site encompasses a chain of mountains that have been designated as State Forests, Mountain Catchment Areas and Nature Reserves. The IBA runs north from the Kogelberg State Forest (near Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond) for 120 km to the Kluitjieskraal State Forest south-west of Tulbagh. The mesic mountain fynbos is dominated by a multitude of communities; the primary fynbos constituents are species of Proteaceae, Ericaceae and Restionaceae. Small, isolated Afromontane forest patches, in deep secluded mesic gorges, are dominated by trees of Cunonia, Halleria, Pterocelastrus, Rapanea and Podocarpus. Shrubs, ferns, climbers and epiphytes also occur.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Within the low fynbos scrub, both Turnix hottentotta and Sarothrura affinis are found. Among the fynbos endemics, Nectarinia violacea is widespread in the ericas while Promerops cafer and Serinus leucopterus are almost restricted to the proteoid elements. Francolinus capensis, Pycnonotus capensis and Serinus totta are widespread, while Bradypterus victorini is locally common within moist seeps in hilly areas. Chaetops frenatus and Geocolaptes olivaceus are common on most exposed rocky slopes above 1,000 m. The isolated forest patches hold some forest specials including Buteo oreophilus and Serinus scotops. The agricultural wheat-growing belt to the south-east supports Grus paradisea, Neotis denhami, Circus maurus, Sagittarius serpentarius and Ciconia ciconia, all of which regularly forage within the agricultural matrix at the base of the mountain ranges.

Non-bird biodiversity: This area is thought to contain c.2,500 plant species, most of which are endemic to the Cape Floral Kingdom, and many have global ranges entirely restricted to the IBA. Within the IBA, the Kogelberg area alone has 150 endemic plant species, and is often considered to be the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Many spectacular species occur in the IBA, including the endemic, critically threatened ‘marsh rose’ Orothamnus zeyheri (Proteaceae). Once on the brink of extinction, it is now known to occur on several inaccessible peaks in the IBA. The endangered Mimetes hottentoticus and M. capitulatus are also found here. Microbatrachella capensis (EN) occurs in the south.

The IBA covers a large portion of the catchment of the Berg river, and along with it, supports several of the Western Cape’s endemic fish, including Barbus burgi (CR) and B. andrewi (VU). Pseudocordylus nebulosa has a global range restricted to the mountains of this IBA. Poyntonia paludicola, described in 1989, is also virtually endemic to this IBA, where it breeds in shallow streams, seepages and marshy areas on upper mountain slopes.Australolacerta australis occurs here and at only one other site (IBA ZA080), and Cacosternum capense, Breviceps gibbosus, B. montanus and Afroedura hawequensis have most of their global ranges in this IBA. Western Cape endemics occurring in the Eastern False Bay mountains include Tropidosaura gularis, Pseudocordylus capensis, Afrogecko porphyreus and the spectacular Heleophryne purcelli, Arthroleptella lightfooti and Capensibufo rosei (LR/nt), which are all restricted to perennial streams in forested boulder-strewn gorges in montane areas and shallow, water-filled depressions in montane fynbos. Hyperolius horstockii occurs in the lowlands with flowering lilies.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Boland Mountains. Downloaded from on 12/06/2021.