South African National Parks Scientific Services

Knysna, South Africa

South African National Parks Scientific Services

Knysna, South Africa
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Landman M.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University | Gaylard A.,South African National Parks Scientific Services | Mendela T.,South African National Parks Scientific Services | Kerley G.I.H.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Koedoe | Year: 2014

Despite extensive evidence of the influences of elephant on woody trees in savannah habitats, effects on trees in the succulent thickets of the Eastern Cape are relatively poorly described. Our study investigates the role and intensity of elephant impacts on Pappea capensis and the relatively rare Boscia oleoides in an arid thicket-Nama Karoo mosaic habitat of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. We show that roughly 19% of the B. oleoides and nearly half of the P. capensis individuals recorded showed signs of elephant impact. Elephant often toppled our study trees, and where these individuals were uprooted, mortalities occurred: B. oleoides ~ 44% of the impacted trees (4 individuals); P. capensis ~ 22% of the impacted trees (29 individuals). Conservation implications: Whilst this study is restricted by limited spatial and temporal replication, P. capensis mortalities caused by elephant occurred at a rate exceeding that of other processes. Our results provide insight into the severity of the measured changes and the need to reduce the impacts. However, it would be critically important to establish the specific driver of elephant-tree interactions before any management intervention is implemented. © 2014. The Authors.


Biggs D.,University of Queensland | Swemmer L.,South African National Parks Scientific Services | Phillips G.,South Tourism | Stevens J.,South Tourism | And 2 more authors.
Koedoe | Year: 2014

Tourism is critical source of financing for conservation in Africa. South African National Parks (SANParks) raises in excess of 80% of their own funds through tourism revenue. SANParks has a culture of co-learning between scientists and conservation managers through a process known as strategic adaptive management (SAM). Despite the critical role that tourism plays in SANParks, it has, until recently, not been formally incorporated in the SAM process. Moreover, SANParks recently adopted a new responsible tourism policy to guide the development and management of tourism across all national parks. The new policy calls for tourism that supports biodiversity conservation, is environmentally efficient and socially responsible. In 2011, SANParks initiated a tourism research programme to support the incorporation of tourism in SAM and to provide enabling information for the implementation of the responsible tourism policy. This article summarised the development of the tourism research programme in SANParks and its key research themes. Conservation implications: An active tourism research programme that integrates science and management is necessary for tourism to play a stronger role in delivering outcomes for conservation, neighbouring communities and broader society. © 2014. The Authors.

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