|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
|Year of assessment||Threat score (pressure)||Condition score (state)||Action score (response)|
|2014||very high||very unfavourable||high|
|For more information about IBA monitoring please click here|
The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park (HUP) lies 20 km north-west of Mtubatuba, at the junction of the coastal plain and the foothills of the KwaZulu-Natal interior. The landscape is undulating to hilly. There is a gradual drop in altitude from west to east along the Natal Monocline. The Hluhluwe river and its tributary, the Nzimane, dissect the northern portion of the park. In the south, the Black Umfolozi and White Umfolozi rivers meander widely, before uniting at the south-eastern corner of the park. All these rivers flow permanently. There are many other seasonal streams and ephemeral rivers.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. The park is known to support over 400 bird species, about 46% of the species found in the southern African subregion. The bird diversity within the park can be attributed to the variety of habitats in this area. Large riverine trees provide habitat for many of the more secretive river-dependent species such as Gorsachius leuconotus and Podica senegalensis. The rivers, flood-plains, pans, dams and vleis are important for many wetland-dependent and associated birds, including Ciconia nigra, which breed in gorges in the nearby mountains. Ciconia episcopus, Anastomus lamelligerus and Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis occur in small numbers. Several pairs of Geronticus calvus are known to breed within the complex, but they forage mostly outside the area. Several large species that are rare outside South Africa’s large parks are locally common here, including Gyps africanus, Torgos tracheliotus, Trigonoceps occipitalis, Polemaetus bellicosus, Terathopius ecaudatus and Aquila rapax. Bucorvus cafer, Neotis denhami, Circus macrourus and Tyto capensis occur in smaller numbers. The small patches of palm-savanna support Serinus citrinipectus.
Non-bird biodiversity: This area is one of the most important conservation areas in South Africa for mammals, as it is one of the last havens for large numbers of ungulates and the predators they support. Many threatened species occur throughout the park, including Ceratotherium simum (LR/cd), Diceros bicornis (CR), Lycaon pictus (EN), Loxodonta africana (EN), Acinonyx jubatus (VU) and Panthera leo (VU). Rare trees include Celtis mildbraedii, Albizia suluensis, Warburgia salutaris and Buxus natalensis.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2020.