|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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The site is located 5 km north-east of Kokstad, occupying the valley bottom along the meandering course of the Manzimnyama river amidst agricultural land. It lies within a narrow finger of transition between highland sourveld and Cymbopogon-Themeda veld. The permanently saturated to flooded areas are Typha-dominated, particularly the lowest depressions in the vlei. Tall sedges of Cyperus and Mariscus are locally dominant in less permanently and deeply flooded conditions, often with other Cyperus, Schoenoplectus and Juncus. The sedges extend into the seasonally flooded areas, where they occur alongside Eleocharis, Leersia and Paspalum. Seasonal or ephemeral flooding in sedge meadow and wet grassland is often extensive, and up to 50 cm deep, but in some years much of the flood-plain remains almost completely dry.
See Box for key species. This is one of only four sites in South Africa known to have held Sarothrura ayresi regularly over the last eight years. This site has held up to four Sarothrura ayresi in years of good flooding and, if vegetation were allowed to develop more naturally, without annual burning and spring grazing, it would probably support more than twice this number. Crex crex is probably annual in grassland around the vlei. Botaurus stellaris is resident and is presumed to breed. The winter reedbed roost of Balearica regulorum builds up to numbers in excess of 100.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Penny Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2020.