Scientists from several South African universities, South African National Parks (SANParks) and a number of high profile international institutions met at the 10th annual Savanna Science Network Meeting held at Skukuza from 5 to 9 March 2012.
The programme covered 111 presentations which included findings about research conducted in all Southern African savanna national parks and protected areas.
“This meeting has grown from one encouraging scientific dialogue around biological research in the Kruger National Park (KNP) to one now encouraging a broader social-ecological savanna focus”, commented SANPArks, scientific services head of department, Danie Pienaar.
Topics covered include biodiversity, rivers, wetlands and freshwater management, climate change effects and anticipated ecosystem responses, large mammal ecosystem drivers and their mechanisms of change, as well as tourism, land use and land use change effects and the human interface with parks.
“The Savanna Science Network Meeting provides an opportunity for scientists to share their latest findings conducted in national parks and other conservation areas within the savanna vegetation.
This includes numerous research projects and longer-term study programmes within South Africa, but also drawing in relevant research and understanding from other protected areas across the globe”. It is an important forum for dialogue and debate about ecological science and conservation matters as well as a pivotal point for future research collaborations.