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Conservation Services

Scientific Services

At a time of increasing awareness of the value of biodiversity, it is vital that public debate, policy and management decisions about South Africa's unique biodiversity are informed by sound science. In collaboration with scientists from around the world, SANParks’ scientists strive to provide the knowledge needed to manage parks in a fast changing world.

Scientific Services forms the hub of formal learning within SANParks via research and management implementation and practice. This research and the practice of conservation science is broadly organised into four key areas: Species Research focused on species of special concern; Systems Research to understand broader ecosystem functioning and the important social-ecological interface; the Conservation Interface programme with regional ecologists and technicians forming a close link with park management and conducting monitoring programs in parks; Logistical Support dealing with geographic information systems and remote sensing, data management, admin and research assistance.

The biodiversity implementation framework illustrates the structure and strategic focus of Scientific Services including 10 Biodiversity Implementation Areas for providing evidence-based decision support for managing parks. These implementation areas are underpinned by the Biodiversity Monitoring System and its associated programmes, and are relevant across terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments. The implementation framework contains some interactive social, economic and tourism components, although these important elements require further development and investment within SANParks.