Blouberg

Feast for your eyes. Food for your soul.

Wildlife



Because of the varying topography, a wide variety of mammal, avian, reptile, amphibian and invertebrate species are present at the reserve.



The most recent game count (2015) revealed a total of 2212 head of game at the reserve, including 20 different mammal species. However, during such game count some more stealthy animals are easily overlooked. Animals found on the reserve include
buffalo, giraffe, eland, sable, waterbuck, gemsbok, red hartebeest, zebra, kudu, bushbuck, impala, mountain reedbuck, klipspringer, steenbok, duiker, warthog and bushpig. Predators recorded are leopard, cheetah, caracal, brown and spotted hyena and numerous small mammals like civet, red spotted genet, African Wildcat and some mongoose species. The total tally of observed mammal species stands at 34.

The Blouberg Nature Reserve is one of only six provincial nature reserves that is home to a breeding program for Sable Antelope. Sable Antelope is considered to be rare in South Africa and this species survives mainly in and around protected areas with low population densities of people and cattle.


The Blouberg Nature Reserve also hosts a successful Cape Buffalo breeding program. The game census of 2012 revealed a healthy population with numbers in excess of 200 disease free individuals.


For a list of mammal species, click HERE.

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The Blouberg Nature Reserve is characterised by a highly heterogeneous landscape, ranging from mountainous terrain with high topographical relief in the south to lower lying plains in the north, whilst also incorporating four vegetation units. As a result, the Blouberg Nature Reserve is well-known for its
avifaunal diversity and hosts a wide range of woodland and grassland species, as well as a wide range of waterfowl and other wetland/riparian/floodplain associated species.

There are currently
246 verified avian species occurring at the reserve, of which 16 occur on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, namely Bateleur (Vulnerable), Black Stork (Near-threatened), Blue Crane (Vulnerable), Cape Vulture (Vulnerable), Hooded Vulture (Vulnerable), Kori Bustard (Vulnerable), Lanner Falcon (Near-threatened), Lappet-faced Vulture (Vulnerable), Lesser Kestrel (Vulnerable), Martial Eagle (Vulnerable), Peregrine Falcon (Near-threatened), Red-billed Oxpecker (Near-threatened), Saddle-billed Stork (Endangered), Secretarybird (Near-threatened), Tawny Eagle (Vulnerable) and White-backed Vulture (Vulnerable). The level of endemism reflected within the current verified avian species inventory is four endemic and four near-endemic species. The importance of the BNR as a foraging and breeding range for IUCN listed threatened species also extends beyond resident species, with the reserve hosting one paleartic breeding migrant, namely Lesser Kestrel (Vulnerable), and offering habitat that could host another, namely Pallid Harrier (Near-threatened).

Two verified IUCN listed species, namely Martial (Vulnerable) and Tawny (Vulnerable) Eagle, not only have IUCN significance, but are apex predators in their respective ecosystems and would therefore fulfil an ecologically significant role. Similarly, Blouberg Nature Reserve also hosts four verified IUCN listed vulture species, also known to fulfil an ecologically significant role within the respective ecosystem.

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The flagship for the reserve is the Cape Vulture. The breeding colony hosts more than 1000 breeding pairs that form the biggest stronghold for this threatened species in Southern Africa. Visitors can view these birds at close range, especially during winter months at the vulture restaurant when they daily come to bathe at the waterhole or feed on a carcass when provided. Visitors can also book the guided Vulture Trail which takes them to visit the plateau above the colony, and experience a face-to-face encounter with the vultures in flight. It is a never to be forgotten experience.

Other interesting species are the crested guinea fowl, ground hornbill and a variety of raptors.


Blouberg is a true magnet for birders.


For a list of bird species, click HERE.

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The Blouberg Nature Reserve furthermore boasts
56 different reptile species (including the endemic Common Flat Lizard Platysaurus intermedius parvus and two other sub-species that are restricted to this range, namely Platysaurus intermedius inopinus and Waterberg Flat Lizard Platysaurus minor), and 25 amphibian species.

The Lepidopterists Society of South Africa undertook a survey of the
butterflies of Blouberg Nature Reserve in March 2012 and recorded 64 different species.

Twenty-one bat species have also been recorded in the Blouberg Nature Reserve. Click HERE for a paper on bat diversity in the Soutpansberg region.


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