Biodiversity conservation

The work of the Biodiversity Value focus includes:

  1. An archival repository for local biodiversity information containing historical and current information, both spatial (GIS) and non-spatial for use by the broader conservation and research community.
  2. Based on a successful model developed by the Centre for Invasion Biology and the University of Cape Town an annual Biodiversity Academy training students from Southern African Development Community countries.
  3. Conservation ecology of threatened and iconic target ecosystems (mistbelt forests, grasslands and wetlands) and species (primates and predators); aquatic ecosystems research building on existing Univen strengths in fish biology, freshwater ecosystem health and historical and ongoing monitoring; monitoring of leopards and other predators in the Soutpansberg and management of conflict between predators and cattle/game farmers.
  4. Investigating and valuing ecosystem services within the VBR and Limpopo including:
    • Valuation of ecosystem services of Limpopo protected areas (PA’s)  in collaboration with Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET).
    • Investigation of Integrated Pest Management ecological services to subtropical agriculture in northern Limpopo.
    • Agroecological management solutions for subtropical agro-ecosystems, testing the prediction that complex agro-ecosystems with intact natural ecosystems and predator communities will enhance Integrated Pest Management.
    • Development of a network approach to quantify the benefits of biodiversity to tropical agriculture – trade-offs in ecological services.