Habitat and Wildlife Management Planning
- Evaluation of resources
- Preparation of management plans
- Implementation guidelines
- Habitat monitoring
- Alien invasive plant management
- Evaluation of the degradation
- Treatment design
- Implementation & maintenance
- Soil erosion control
- Restoration & rehabilitation
- Alien plant control
- Sourcing of animals
- Application for permits
- Supervise capture, transport, release
- Provide infrastructure
- Intensive Breeding Projects
Inventories, surveys, evaluations
- Botanical & habitat sensitivity analysis
- Fauna census & inventory
- Habitat condition analysis
- Plant checklists and mapping
- Animal stocking rate determination
- Erosion control and land rehabilitation training
- Spekboom restoration
- Game- and predator-proof fence construction and maintenance
- Basic training for field rangers
- Alien plant control
Habitat & wildlife management planning
We specialise in the preparation of management guideline documents and environmental management plans for game ranches, nature reserves and other areas of natural habitat.
This planning involves the identification of the natural resources of the sites, the evaluation of habitat condition, the preparation of guidelines for the long-term management and conservation of the area and the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the site after implementation of the guidelines.
Our guideline documents are practical and typically include many of the following aspects:
Habitat evaluation, vegetation maps and plant checklists.
Evaluations of overgrazing, over-browsing, and soil erosion.
The determination of suitable wildlife (game) species that are an ecological match for the available habitats.
The estimation of a stocking rate and species mix that can be sustainably supported by the available habitats.
Ecologically sensitive guidelines for water provision, parasite control, problem predator management and supplementary feeding.
Designs for fencing, water provision, animal holding facilities, road building and maintenance and eco-tourism facilities.
Guidelines for habitat rehabilitation and the control of alien plant infestations.
Guidelines for game census and habitat condition monitoring.
Guidelines for sensitive ecotourism management.
The establishment of a long-term habitat monitoring system.
Our guideline documents are detailed, but practical. They are liberally illustrated with maps, photographs and diagrams that illustrate every evaluation and prescription given. The content is based on our considerable experience with the development of numerous nature reserves and game ranches.
The evaluations and prescriptions of our guidelines are based on detailed fieldwork during which we endeavour to evaluate and record the characteristics and conditions in every habitat and landscape type, most of which is carried out on foot.
We offer alien invasive plant management solutions for properties that have a legal obligation to remove alien plants in line with NEM:BA and CARA legislation as well as to improve the biodiversity and viability of property. We advocate a cost-effective and integrated approach by means of the following methodology: mechanical, chemical, and biological control methods as well as an integrated combination of these methods, depending on the landowner’s objective. Much of the alien control by-product can be recycled into further rehabilitation efforts on the property.
The control of soil erosion as a first step to landscape rehabilitation is a particular speciality which lies very close to our hearts. We also concern ourselves with the increasingly poor and eroded condition of roads in the veld.
We have been involved in trial-and-error soil erosion control efforts for almost 30 years and have built up a considerable expertise and “feel” for the rehabilitation of degraded habitats.
Our objective is to provide landowners with practical and affordable methodology which has its foundation in the elimination of the cause of the degradation before any attempt is made to rehabilitate the degraded sites. Our methods can be implemented using unskilled labour with minimal training and we make extensive use of biodegradable materials and recycled old fencing materials.
Our approach is to create the favourable conditions that the natural vegetation of the area needs to regain its former protective cover.
This we achieve by retarding the loss of rainfall runoff, capturing this runoff and thus increasing water infiltration into the soil. We pay particular attention to the re-establishment of a protective soil mulch (plant litter) cover and the rehydration of aridified soil.
We advocate the use of locally indigenous plants for revegetation of the rehabilitation project areas and pay particular attention to the restoration of the soil micro-organisms that are necessary for soil health and plant wellbeing.
We also offer the services of a fully supervised and trained team of workers that have been employed to implement our rehabilitation methods. Thus far, our team has completed numerous projects in degraded parts of the Little and Great Karoo, working for the Ostrich Business Chamber, Wilderness Foundation South Africa, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and various private landowners.
With our hands-on approach, we have been able to do on-the-job training for a number of unemployed people with the view to establishing them as a self-employed rehabilitation business. This is, however, a long term objective.
We also offer soil erosion control and veld rehabilitation training and workshops, with specific emphasis on practical, hands-on methods that have been tested and proven successful. Our considerable practical knowledge and experience in combating soil erosion in various biomes enables us to provide area specific solutions and restoration support services.
We have also been intimately involved with the implementation of the SANParks Working on Land Project and have been responsible for the infield erosion control training of the staff, contractors and labourers employed in the project within the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape. We also offer and undertake annual audits of erosion control and rehabilitation projects to assess the level of success or failure and provide alternative solutions, corrective action or follow-up training where necessary.
By means of our associates, we can provide the harvested seed of locally indigenous plants as well as nursery-grown plants for rehabilitation projects. (See Associates – Renu Karoo).
We believe that restoration is a complex process that requires an integrated approach in most cases. We have extensive experience using cost-effective, innovative and practical techniques that yield significant results. One restoration intervention that has multiple benefits involves the planting of Spekboom Portulacaria afra which not only has an important restoration effect but also yields significant carbon sequestration potential and is attractively marketable on the newly-established carbon market. In addition, it is easily propagated from cuttings, requires little water, is known as an ecosystem engineer and is highly palatable for browsing animals once restored.
The recent boom in the game industry, the high risk and large capital investment involved with game introductions and general wildlife management has seen a considerable increase in the demand for specialized wildlife services and technical supervision. This has created an opportunity for our services to be incorporated not only in the reserve or game ranch design and planning phase but right through to the practical implementation phase of the wildlife management programme.
Over the last two decades we have worked very closely with the conservation authorities in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Orange Free-State provinces. We have an intimate knowledge of the various translocation policies, permit systems and regulations applicable to the game industry in all the providences mentioned. As a result of our continuous involvement within the wildlife industry, we have developed a reliable network of game capture outfitters, helicopter pilots, veterinarians and wildlife brokers that can be called upon to assist with any wildlife related challenge and to cater for a client’s specific needs.
We offer the following services to developing game and nature reserves, intensive and semi-intensive breeding operations, conservancies, transformer parks and government institutions:
- Application for permits in all the relevant provinces.
- Permit applications include import/export permits, TOPS permits, dangerous game applications, and extralimital applications.
Sourcing of Animals
- We source suitable game, adapted for specific habitat and veld types and specialize in the Free-State and the area south of the Orange River.
- Our service also includes the sourcing of specific breeding animals for intensive and semi-intensive breeding operations and trophy hunting farms.
Supervision of the capture process, transport and release of animals.
- Here our main objective is to safeguard the interest of our client during the wildlife translocation process.
- We determine the species and number of animals to be captured, we appoint the capture outfitter, manage the capture process, supervise the transport of the animals and obtain short term insurance where required and finally we deliver the animals to the satisfaction of the client.
- We provide wildlife infrastructure, services and related products.
- We also supply wildlife related products such as customized game pellets, telemetry equipment and collars, dip applicators and feeding troughs.
- We can assist all landowners with the practical implementation of their wildlife management programme.
- In most cases we can offer the services of a fully supervised and trained team of workers that can build automated electric gates, bomas, fence-off game camps, construct wildlife friendly waterholes and dismantle internal fences.
- Our extensive experience with developing nature and game reserves, introducing game and managing wildlife on a day-to-day basis ensures that our clients are guaranteed positive results and excellent service.
Intensive Breeding Projects
- We can assist a landowner to assess and determine their property’s potential for an intensive breeding project and earmark suitable and compatible game species.
- We can design and implement the necessary infrastructure, camps, holding pens and loading facilities.
- Suitable species can be sourced and procured on behalf of the client and the translocation of these animals can also be personally supervised to safeguard the interest of our client.
- We can assist with all aspects of the day-to-day management of intensive breeding programmes and provide a personal and telephonic support service to minimize risk and to ensure a speedy solution to problems.
Inventories, surveys, evaluations
We function as vegetation and fauna specialists for environmental impact assessments and other environmental sensitivity evaluations. This speciality includes the determination of the importance of the landscape connectivity (corridors) requirements of the sites assessed.
We have a good working knowledge of the vegetation and fauna of most natural environments in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and the Free State and by our association with other specialists; we are able to complete fauna and vegetation inventories and impact assessments, to the required standards of the industry, in almost any African environment.
To date, we have successfully completed biodiversity impact reports for a wide variety of development proposals including golf courses, residential developments, wind power generation projects, holiday resorts and infrastructural developments like pipelines, dams and roads.
We also undertake risk assessments for controlled utilization (hunting) of various small and endangered mammals (TOPS species) in the Eastern Cape.
We have successfully completed more than 200 biodiversity impact assessments, surveys and inventories, as well as over 30 utilization risk assessments.
In addition to biodiversity surveys, and impact and risk assessment work, we also offer a habitat monitoring service.
This is particularly valuable to game ranchers who need to regularly evaluate the impact of their game on the habitat and particularly, the grazing and browsing resource.
We use practical techniques that are simple to evaluate once a long-term monitoring system is established. Our methods include fixed-point photography, veld condition assessment transects, browse monitoring sites and exclosures.
We frequently carry out wildlife census surveys, using transect, known group and aerial survey techniques and we have been involved in the aerial evaluation of extensive areas of natural habitat as a preparation for game ranch development.
We also offer a field auditing service for the evaluation of the progress made with the formal management plans of protected areas.
The same auditing service is useful for landowners to help them determine what their conservation management or production shortcomings may be on the protected area or game ranch.
Through our multi-skilled consultancy team with a blend of ability in strategic planning, academia and practical implementation, we offer hands on practical environmental training to our clients who primarily consist of game ranch managers and their staff, programme and project managers, rangers, field staff and contractors as well as educational groups.
We have recently trained staff from EPWP, SAN Parks, Cape Nature, Conservation International, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, Wells for Zoë (Malawi) and the Paardeberg Sustainability Initiative in addition to the agricultural sector.
Over and above providing a first-class service to our clients, we aim to transfer the necessary environmental skills into the conservation sector to ensure a sustainable industry and conserved heritage for generations to come.
We offer the following types of environmental training and can customise training to suit our clients’ requirements:
Soil erosion control and land rehabilitation training
Game- and predator-proof fence construction and maintenance
Alien invasive plant density evaluation, methodology selection and implementation and post-clearing rehabilitation
Monitoring: Vegetation surveys and Fixed Point photography
Field Ranger training in the ecological and supervisory aspects of Game Ranch or Conservation Area management
Basic management planning and the establishement of Annual Plans of Operation based on the management plans
Nursery management and tree planting guidelines
Get In Touch
+27 76 227 5056
+27 82 493 1441
Based in George, Western Cape, and Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, SA
Get in touch with us
Contact Conservation Management Services today to assist with your project.