Steenkampsberg, Mpumalanga

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Steenkampsberg
Steenkampsberg, Mpumalanga is located in South Africa
Steenkampsberg, Mpumalanga
Highest point
Peak Die Berg[1]
Elevation 2,332 m (7,651 ft)
Coordinates 25°12′34″S 30°9′55″E / 25.20944°S 30.16528°E / -25.20944; 30.16528Coordinates: 25°12′34″S 30°9′55″E / 25.20944°S 30.16528°E / -25.20944; 30.16528
Dimensions
Length 170 km (110 mi) NE/SW
Width 80 km (50 mi) NW/SE
Geography
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
Geology
Orogeny Kaapvaal craton
Period Neoarchean to early Paleoproterozoic
Type of rock Bushveld igneous complex, sandstone

Steenkampsberg (Afrikaans: Steenkampsberge) is a South African mountain plateau in the Dullstroom - Belfast district of Mpumalanga Province. The plateau consists largely of high-altitude grassland, ranging between 1700 and 2274 metres, broken by rocky outcrops.

Ecology[edit]

The plateau has extensive tracts of unspoilt habitat, supporting a large diversity of mammals, birds and plant life. The common tree fern Cyathea dregei occurs along watercourses and streams, while overgrazed mountain slopes and eroded ravines are often dominated by Leucosidea sericea.[2]

The area is home to more than 150 bird species, a large number being endemic. The wetlands of the region shelter all of the three endangered South African species of crane - blue, crowned, and wattled. Two of the wetlands, Lakenvlei, 8 km north-east of Belfast, and Verloren Valei, 9 km north of Dullstroom, are of particular importance for the survival of these species.

Waterbirds, such as heron, rail, crake, Egyptian goose, spur-winged goose, kingfisher, coot, sacred ibis and whiskered tern, make up a large proportion of the birdlife. Open grassland species include lark, pipit, cisticola, finch, bustard, bald ibis and francolin. Raptors in the area include steppe- and jackal buzzard, snake eagle, long-crested eagle, Fish eagle and secretary bird. Mammals include a few antelope species such as the oribi, grey duiker, mountain reedbuck, grey rhebuck and steenbok. Also occurring are serval, civet, African wildcat and caracal. Black-backed jackal, brown hyena, aardwolf, porcupine, bushpig and aardvark are nocturnal and rarely seen. Both otter species, the Cape clawless otter, and the smaller spotted-necked otter are to be found throughout the plateau. Their diet includes the introduced rainbow trout and accordingly they are regularly poisoned, trapped or hunted by trout fly-fishing resorts and trout hatcheries who feel their livelihood threatened.

Rainbow trout have had a seriously detrimental impact on native fish species in the headwaters of streams draining the Steenkampsberg.[3]

Land management[edit]

The area is covered by some 150 privately owned farms.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]