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Cape Research Centre

Introduction

The Cape Research Centre (CRC) was established in 2008. It is situated in the Tokai section of Table Mountain National Park on land that was formerly under plantation but is currently being restored to fynbos. The CRC was established to develop internal scientific capacity to serve the socio-ecological research needs of the unique parks of the Succulent Karoo and the Cape Floral Kingdom including the marine and coastal areas of Agulhas, West Coast, Table Mountain and Namaqua National Parks (NPs). The Tankwa Karoo and Bontebok (NPs) are two inland parks that complete this cluster.

History

The CRC is the youngest of the SANParks research nodes. In 2006 an earth system scientist was transferred from the Garden Route to create the nucleus of the CRC in Cape Town. She was joined by a senior biotechnician from the Kruger NP, and, in 2008, by a marine biologist who is the current Program Manager. In the same year, the CRC's first General Manager was appointed. This founder group of four soon moved into the refurbished offices at Tokai and since then a further nine members of staff have been appointed: a Regional Ecologist, Global Change Scientist, Marine Biotechnician, Biotechnician, two Junior Scientist, Science Liaison Officer, Landscape Ecologist and GIS Specialist who are all ably supported by an administrative assistant. The Centre also hosted four interns in 2014.

The primary objective of the CRC is to advance the state of protected area knowledge in the Cape Cluster parks. This is done through:

  • Conducting, facilitating, and influencing research and monitoring to improve the performance and sustainability of parks
  • Synthesizing and translating relevant ecological knowledge to enable effective park management and to raise the profile of parks
  • In conjunction with park staff, evaluating and monitoring the performance and sustainability of parks in achieving their biodiversity, cultural-heritage and socio-economic mandates.

The dynamic interrelationship between humans, geography, fauna, and flora is everywhere evident and the CRC invites research collaboration in examining and documenting the landscape changes and social history of our parks.

Map

Scientific Services Cape Research Centre office: Cape Town.

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