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Media Release: Savanna issues discussed at KNP Science Network Meeting

Date: 21st April 2009

The Kruger National Park (KNP) will host scientists and researchers from around the world at the 7th Annual Savanna Science Network Meeting which will take place from 19 – 24 April 2009 in the Gold Fields Auditorium in Skukuza.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) will host scientists and researchers from around the world at the 7th Annual Savanna Science Network Meeting which will take place from 19 – 24 April 2009 in the Gold Fields Auditorium in Skukuza.

Unlike previous years where KNP issues were discussed, this year the meeting is broadening its scope, concentrating on research done in savannas, but also enticing cross-park research and learning in the savanna domain, spanning arid and moister savannas.

“This is our premier annual event for the Scientific Services Department of SANParks and we are pleased that the interest among the scientific community is growing every year with about 226 delegates attending this year. Our network of collaborating scientists and scientific institutions is growing and this provides us with the most up-to-date scientific knowledge to better manage our national parks,” commented Scientific Services Head of Department, Mr Danie Pienaar.

Mr Pienaar further stated that “This meeting enables scientists and ecologists from all over the world to come together, share information, debate approaches and interpretations of findings of research projects and possibly collaborate on additional priority research ventures.”

Debating ecological and conservation matters

The Savanna Science Network Meeting provides an important forum for dialogue and debate about ecological science and conservation matters. It is also a pivotal forum for future research collaborations between scientists working throughout South Africa and other savannas in the world.

Scientists from numerous South African universities, South African National Parks and a number of high profile overseas universities in the UK, USA, Sweden, Mozambique and the Netherlands are scheduled to speak at the meeting. Presentations will focus on their research findings, often at the cutting-edge of technological developments, and what these mean for the management of savannas and protected areas.

Many topical issues in ecological science will be covered during the week, including climate change, elephant management, fire research, biodiversity monitoring and change, animal disease, soil erosion, impacts of alien biota and freshwater catchment management.

The meeting will focus specifically on the understanding of the mechanisms and drivers that can cause unacceptable change in ecosystems. Data, information and knowledge generated through these research projects provides insights and recommendations, which are used by park officials to improve the effectiveness of management of the areas under their custodianship.

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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