LATEST NEWS >> 
Birding hotspot - Sterkloop wetlands (Local News)
 
The Sterkloop Wetland after good rainsThis series of natural springs is situated on municipal land to the west of Polokwane City at the Matlalala and Percy Fyfe road junction. As far as can be stablished it is the only cluster of perennial springs on the Polokwane Plateau and thus hosts a great diversity of wetland and grassland bird species, particularly after good summer rains. A small dam within the drainage line has created open water habitat with the associated rush and sedge beds along its upper reaches where the likes of Maccoa Duck, White-backed Duck, African Swamphen, Great-crested Grebe and Little Bittern have been seen in the past. The marshland itself is home to Orange-breasted Waxbill, Cuckoo Finch, Red-collared Widow and at times Long-tailed Widow while the surrounding grassland host a variety of lark species including the localised Short-clawed Lark and remnants of the extremely fragmented and little known Spike-heeled Lark sub-population which occurs on the Polokwane Plateau. As can be expected a multitude of marsh and grassland plants occur here including many bulbs such as Kniphofias (Redhot Pokers), Ammocharis (Ground Lily), Nerines, Hypoxis (African Potato), Boophane (Gifbol) and Gladiolus species.

This area is relatively pristine and should be considered a natural asset for Polokwane and has the potential to become an important eco-tourism attraction due to the interesting and varied plant and bird species. In several independent ecological reports to the city council it has been recommended that this entire property, (including the surrounding grassland and savannah areas) be properly fenced off and proclaimed as a Site of Ecological Importance under Schedule 1 of Limpopo Environmental Management Act (2003). Unfortunately this has not happened and the area is now under huge pressure from urban expansion on its borders (Polokwane Extension 44). Poaching of small game, illegal netting of fish, uncontrolled fires, illegal dumping and subsistence crop farming within this very sensitive site are factors contributing to its demise.

As one of the only active public environmental bodies in the city it would be up to Birdlife Polokwane to forward further appeals to the city council in an attempt to save and preserve this important natural feature. Wouldn't it be wonderful to turn this area into a 'Proudly Polokwane' bird sanctuary with walking trails, information boards and bird hides, a place that would not only be enjoyed by birders but which could serve as a wetland/environmental education facility for the broader community of our municipal area.

For those wishing to visit this area it is advised to do so in a group for safety reasons. The entrance gate (which is normally open) is situated on the Percy Fyfe road approximately 450m from the Matlala Road intersection (S2354'15.82" E2924'47.72").
 
 
Compiled by: Joe Grosel  
Published on: 2014-02-04  
 
Return to Latest News  


EVENTS CALENDAR

«October 2017»
SMTWTFS
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031 

LIMPOPO 2017
550 CHALLENGE
CURRENT COUNT: 535
POLOKWANE 100K
BIRDING CHALLENGE
LIMPOPO 550 CHALLENGE
PREVIOUS YEARS' SCORES
CONTACT DETAILS
P.O. Box 699
Fauna Park
0787
(015) 263 6473
UNUSUAL SIGHTINGS
Please report any unusual
sightings to Joe Grosel on
082 415 5250

happy birding