Spitskop Dam

Country/territory: South Africa

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i (1998)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 2,495 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife South Africa
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 very high very unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Spitskop Dam lies 33 km south-west of Jan Kempdorp. This is one of the largest wetlands in the semi-arid Northern Cape region. It holds water permanently, and is a vital water-source when all the other ephemeral and temporary wetlands in the region have dried up. The dam lies on the Harts river, and is surrounded by open Kimberley thorn-bushveld savanna, dominated by trees of Acacia and Boscia. The shrub layer is moderately developed in places and includes species of Tarchonanthus, Grewia and Lycium.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. This wetland regularly supports over 10,000 birds, and has occasionally supported up to 18,000. Occurring in a region where rainfall is unpredictable, any permanent water-body is of major importance during drier periods when other wetlands dry up. The dam supports notable numbers of Pelecanus rufescens, Sterna caspia, Phoenicopterus ruber and Phoenicopterus minor. Other species that also occur in significant numbers include Podiceps cristatus, Phalacrocorax carbo, Anhinga rufa, Platalea alba, Tadorna cana, Anas undulata, Fulica cristata and Recurvirostra avosetta. The Kalahari thornveld holds Cercotrichas paena, Pterocles burchelli and Pterocles namaqua, among other species.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Spitskop Dam. Downloaded from on 04/12/2020.