To establish a Centre of Excellence that will provide the Scientific foundation for MTPA to achieve its biodiversity conservation and natural resources mandate.
To ensure that a high level of scientifically based conservation and biodiversity management strategic direction, advice, support is provided to both internal and external clients as required for the MTPA to achieve its conservation, sustainable utilisation and development objectives.
To provide a high level scientifically based conservation and biodiversity management advice to both internal and external clients as required for the MTPA to achieve sustainable utilisation of resources. This includes:
- The management of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in order to achieve efficient ecological data gathering, scientific analysis and formulation of management recommendations as well as participation in the planning of eco-tourism, management and infrastructure development within the framework of Integrated Environmental Management;
- To perform scientific functions of managing and storing of biodiversity data of MTPA with respect to the conservation and sustainable use of the resources in Mpumalanga Province;
- To provide scientifically based conservation and management advice to both internal and external clients as required for the MTPA to achieve its conservation, sustainable utilization and development objectives.
The mandate of Scientific Services is to provide a high level scientifically based conservation and biodiversity management advice to both internal and external clients as required for the MTPA to achieve sustainable utilisation of resources.
Major Activities and Functions
- Biodiversity Planning. The Mpumalanga Biodiversity Sector Plan (MBSP) has been developed for the entire province and provides spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation and land use guidelines.
- Aquatic Bio-monitoring
- Priority Species Plans
- Biodiversity Inventory Plans for Protected Areas
- Biodiversity Research and Monitoring
Research & Monitoring
The MTPA maintains a list of priority research projects under a series of themes. In addition each protected area develops and maintains a list of research priorities based on an assessment of information gaps in relation to making management decisions. As these priority lists become available in digital format they will be added to the web site; for protected areas where lists are not available on the web site please contact the relevant regional ecologist.
The following major research and Monitoring are being conducted:
Research conducted by MTPA partners:
- Climate Change studies (UP)
- Grazing preferences of zebra and buffalo: reconciling field observations with remotely sensed vegetation greenness data (WITS)
- ABEERU studies (UNISA)
Monitoring conducted by MTPA Scientific Services
- Usutho Catchment
- Upper-Olifants River
Species status monitoring
- Veld assessments
- Small mammals
- Large mammals / Predators
- Game Census
- MBCP database update