Research requests

CapeNature strives to base management decisions on the best available scientific information. Both management and the scientific process drive to ever improved knowledge and there is a constant need to carry out new research.

On this page you will find the CapeNature Research and Monitoring Strategy (link will be provided once strategy is signed off) and a list of research requests.
This list refers to all projects over a five running cycle and will be updated annually, indicating whether the projects have been started and whether they have reached completion.
The requests are put out as proposed research projects which can be tailored and improved through consultation with CapeNature and academic partners.

 List of current research requests

Research required Detailed research request Status
Research to formally estimate the increased risk of pine pitch canker with the release of cone-feeding weevils and to evaluate this risk against the expense of controlling invasive pines manually. A useful adjunct or follow-on to this research would be to assess methods of controlling pitch pine canker in plantations and nurseries. Research Request Evaluation of Biocontrol for invasive alien pines in the Western Cape Province (link to PDF document of research request will open in new tab). Research request active and students are now required.
Research and assess where managing Invasive Alien Species will have the greatest positive impact on biodiversity. This should initially be assessed by an overlay between threatened environments (and species where feasible) and invasive alien distributions. Under development. Request pending the release of the 2016 update of the national map of woody invasive alien plant species as developed Agricultural Research Centre.
Investigate novel methods for improving control efficiency of invasive alien trees, especially pines. See Research request: Quantifying impact and effectiveness of basal bark spray application of herbicide on invasive alien pine trees (link to PDF document of research request will open in a new tab) Student assigned and research proposal underway
Develop biodiversity impact monitoring protocols to assess effects of Invasive Alien Species management. Under development. Research request pending.
Research on remote mapping of invasive alien plant species. The Agricultural Research Centre is conducting this work at a national scale. We need to evaluate whether this scale will be sufficient for provincial level planning. We would also like high resolution imagery as obtained by drones for quantification of extent and density of invasive alien plant species to be evaluated as a method for verifying field assessments and possibly setting up clearing contracts. Under development. Request pending the release of the 2016 update of the national map of woody invasive alien plant species as developed Agricultural Research Centre.
Conduct research to set clear thresholds of potential concern for fire return intervals for the major biophysical areas of the WCP. CapeNature is undertaking this work a few Protected Areas at a time and requires assistance in setting these thresholds for all fire-driven regions of the Western Cape Province. Under development. Research request pending.
Quantify the water delivery ecosystem service provided by CapeNature. This should be in the form of an appropriate model and tested against empirical measurements. See Research request: Quantify the water delivery ecosystem service delivered by CapeNature (link to PDF document of research request will open in a new tab) Research request posted on website.
Develop a semi-automated natural area and Critical Biodiversity Area loss measurement system. (This is envisaged to be an efficient, integrated system of software tools to regularly evaluate land cover against the provincial Biodiversity Conservation Plan. This product will require research on how to develop and test the system. Production of the system as a software tool would be subject to funding being made available. Request pending funding.
Conduct research to evaluate habitat and best-practice habitat management for Cape Mountain Zebra in the Western Cape Province See Research request: Habitat evaluation and best-practice habitat management for Cape Mountain Zebra in the Western Cape Province (link to PDF document of research request will open in a new tab) Research request posted on website.

 

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