Jam-packed agenda for sixth science network meeting
The Kruger National Park (KNP) will host scientists and researchers from around the world at the sixth annual SANParks Science Network Meeting which will take place from April 21 - 25, 2008 in the Gold Fields Auditorium at the Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Centre in Skukuza.
"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 220 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, Danie Pienaar.
The Science Network Meeting also provides an opportunity for scientists to share their latest findings about research conducted in South Africa's Kruger National Park and other national parks and conservation areas in the country and the world.
It is also an important forum for dialogue and debate about ecological science and conservation matters; and a pivotal point for future research collaborations, as scientists from South African universities like UCT, Wits, UP; KwaZulu-Natal and Free State are scheduled to speak at the meeting.
There will also be representation from a number of the higher profile universities in overseas countries like the UK, USA, Sweden, Mozambique and the Netherlands who will give presentations.
Many topical issues in ecological science will be covered during the week, including climate change, elephant impacts, fire research, changes in biodiversity, animal diseases, soil erosion, alien biota impacts and freshwater management.
Animal species that feature in research presentations will include black rhino, wild dog, sable antelope, elephant, buffalo and lion. There are almost 200 ongoing scientific research projects in the KNP alone, and many scientists view this protected area as a preferred area for field research.