Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is situated north-east of Upington and west of Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province. Tswalu has an active and ongoing scientific research programme, which Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) and Conservation Biology Masters student Wataru Tokura contributed to last year in a study on vegetation classification and identification of degraded areas in the reserve. With the recent establishment of a long term vegetation monitoring programme led by Mrs Tania Anderson, the programme aims to document vegetation cover, structure, diversity and dominance through a fixed point photographic record and via transect based sampling. Early May saw PCU members Sam Jack and Wataru Tokura join Tania in Tswalu to help her establish the sampling protocol. Read the full article by Sam and Wataru to learn more about this exciting project.
The Mpumalanga Plant Specialist Group held their bi-annual seminar programme on 14-15 May 2016 at the Buffelskloof Nature Reserve near Lydenburg, Mpumalanga. Timm Hoffman, Director of the Plant Conservation Unit, spoke on rePhotoSA where he outlined the aim and importance of rePhotoSA and encouraged all citizen scientists to get involved in the project. Read the full article for more information on this fun and interesting event.
The joint Biodiversity Information Management Forum (BIMF) and Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) Forum was hosted by SANBI at Kirstenbosch Gardens from 10-12 May. The focus of the joint forum was to harmonise biodiversity information sharing across institutions (academic and otherwise) and to establish a comprehensive understanding of institutional requirements, priorities and capacity with regard to biodiversity data. Among the themes highlighted throughout the conference was that of communication and collaboration between the government and biodiversity information networks to address the information gaps that prevent timeous and adequate conservation of South Africa’s rich biodiversity. The article was written by Hana Petersen, Masters student at the Plant Conservation Unit, who attended the event.
Samantha Venter, the project coordinator of rePhotoSA, presented at the Animal Demography Unit’s (ADU) 20th Citizen Scientist Day in Kimberley over the weekend (7 May 2016). rePhotoSA is the repeat photography project of southern African landscapes and is a joint initiative of the Plant Conservation Unit and the ADU. Read the full article for more information.