|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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Situated due east of Pofadder, this site consists of four farms: Mattheus-Gat (18,000 ha), Gemsbokvlakte (10,000 ha), Pofadder East (14,000 ha) and Konkoonsies (10,000 ha). Mattheus-Gat forms the central portion of the site and, in the south of the property, holds the granitic Mattheus-Gat mountains which rise some 300 m above the surrounding plains and which provide habitat for both mountainous and mountain-slope bird species. Away from the mountains, there are sandy plains to the north, comprising perennial desert grasslands that change into a red-dune system that runs from north-west to south-east (the fossil Koa river valley).
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. This is one of few sites to hold both the globally threatened Certhilauda burra (200–300 pairs), which inhabits the red sand-dunes, and the near-threatened Spizocorys sclateri (up to 500 birds), which occurs occasionally on the barren stony plains. The site holds most of the species restricted to the Namib–Karoo biome, as well as a host of other arid-zone birds. The rocky outcrops of the Mattheus-Gat mountains are home to Geocolaptes olivaceus, Euryptila subcinnamomea and Onychognathus nabouroup. The plains hold Circus maurus, Polemaetus bellicosus, Ardeotis kori, Neotis ludwigii, Eupodotis vigorsii, Cursorius rufus, Pterocles namaqua, Eremalauda starki, Cercomela tractrac, C. sinuata, C. schlegelii , Eremomela gregalis and Malcorus pectoralis. During good rains, the nomadic Eremopterix australis, E. verticalis, Serinus alario and Emberiza impetuani can be superabundant. Low, scrubby vegetation holds Parus afer, Anthoscopus minutus, Sylvia layardi, Batis pririt, Stenostira scita, Nectarinia fusca, Sporopipes squamifrons and Serinus albogularis. The large trees occasionally hold the communal nests of Philetairus socius with Polihierax semitorquatus frequently in attendance. The newly recognized Certhilauda subcoronata also occurs in this region.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mattheus-Gat Conservation Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2020.