CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Conservation Management Services was established in July 1996, primarily as a service to private landowners, protected areas and game ranches. The need for an involvement in biodiversity evaluations for environmental impact assessments was later recognised and developed as additional core business.

Our service is based on a great deal of field experience in all aspects of protected area and game ranch planning and management as well as an extensive involvement in environmental impact assessment projects. In all of our work we subscribe to a responsible land ethic which guides our advisory role, our designs and prescriptions and the practical implementation of conservation management projects.

Our service is firmly based on an holistic approach in which we hold that all of the separate parts of the natural environment, including ourselves, are inseparably linked and that no single aspect can be evaluated or managed in isolation.

Ken Coetzee:

Ken is the founder member of Conservation Management Services.

His consulting business is firmly based on forty five years of active conservation management experience, twenty five of which were with a formal conservation agency and 19 of which he has spent developing his private consultancy.

Ken is ably supported by his wife, Madeline, in all aspects of administrative business management.

Most of Ken’s experience has been as a manager of nature reserves in the Eastern and Northern Cape. This extensive practical experience has been invaluable in his role as advisor to private landowners (and state officials). He has particularly been involved in the design, implementation and maintenance of the following aspects:

  • Game introduction and provision of game management infrastructure.
  • Veld condition assessment and vegetation mapping.
  • Development of water provision for wildlife.
  • Control of soil erosion and veld improvement.
  • Development of eco-tourism infrastructure and tourist control infrastructure.
  • Veld and game condition auditing, including the impact of game on the habitat.
  • Drawing up and implementing management plans for private landowners and government conservation agencies.
  • In-service training for field rangers.
  • Game census surveys.
  • The design and establishment of functional landscape corridors and conservancies.
 

As a result of this wide experience, Ken’s particular speciality is the assessment of landscape condition and the application of ecologically compatible land uses for the benefit of not only the landowner but also the greater landscape.

Ken is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist, in the field of ecological science with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.

Ken voluntarily serves on the Directorate of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve which is an internationally recognised conservation area, a part of the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) of UNESCO. He serves as Director of Environmental aspects and has done so for the past 10 years.

In recognition of his academic qualifications and wide experience, he is currently lecturing part-time at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in the field of Game Ranch Management and Nature Conservation at first and second year and B.Tech degree levels.

His practical experiences are particularly valued to augment the largely academic nature of the courses. Ken is frequently called on to give presentations at academic forums such as the Arid Zone Ecology Forum and the Fynbos Forum and he has also given presentations at numerous conferences.

Ken has contributed chapters on veld rehabilitation and wildlife management to a number of books and has published his own book on rangeland management in 2005. (See publications)

Ken is also a recognised vegetation and fauna (biodiversity) expert and has successfully completed numerous biodiversity impact assessment reports for development applications in the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces as well as Namibia.

Wallie Stroebel:

Wallie joined Conservation Management Services in 2007 and consequently opened an office in Graaff-Reinet under the auspices of Conservation Management Services to service the growing wildlife industry of the Midlands area.

Wallie is also ably supported by his wife, Louise, in some of the aspects of administrative business management.

Wallie obtained his National Diploma in Nature Conservation from Saasveld: George Campus in 1997 and early on gained some valuable international conservation experience form the Welder Wildlife Foundation (Texas, USA), the US Fish and Wildlife Services and the Animal Management Consultancy (Dubai, UAE).

Later in his career he specialized in the development of nature reserves in the Little Karoo and Western Cape. In 2001 he obtained his B-Tech. Nature Conservation degree and got actively involved with soil erosion control and veld rehabilitation, which later became his passion.

He has also studied Hotel Management trough Intec College (still to be completed) and has completed a variety of courses to augment his conservation background.

The courses completed include: Problem Animal Control, Wilderness Area Management Course, Professional Hunter Course, Weapons Handling, Advanced Scuba Diver, etc.

 

During his career as a reserve developer and manager he was involved with the design and development of five private game reserves ranging in size from 2 000 Ha to 35 000 Ha, accommodating animals as small as steenbok to large herbivores such as rhinoceros and buffalo and natural predators such as cheetah, brown hyena and leopard.

At Conservation Management Services, Wallie is responsible for most of the Wildlife Management activities and cater to all our clients’ game needs. He is also the day to day manager of the practical worker teams and manages the erosion and rehabilitation projects with some assistance from Ken. Wallie is also responsible for the preparation of management guideline documents and environmental management plans for game ranches, nature reserves and other areas of natural habitat.

The Graaff-Reinet office, under management of Wallie Stroebel, has successfully completed over 300 contracts in the few years of its existence and references are available from clients, on request.

In 2009, Wallie diversified into the intensive breeding of rare and high-value game, with specific focus on sable antelope. Subsequently, he was responsible for the start-up of three breeding projects, of which one was his personal venture. He was responsible for the development of the associated infrastructure, sourcing initial breeding stock, all veterinary work, live sales and the management of the respective herds.

In 2014 an opportunity to expand presented itself and under the guidance of Wallie, the three projects were consolidated into a joint venture - a strategic management decision which allowed the strengths and best trades of three independent breeding projects to be pooled together successfully.

Bruce Damian Taplin:

Bruce joined Conservation Management Services in December 2015 and opened an office in the Cradock area to service the needs of the ever-growing biodiversity conservation and wildlife management sector.

Bruce has over ten years of extensive experience in the formal biodiversity conservation sector, with the majority of this experience being earned as a Regional Manager for biodiversity programmes in National Parks in the Eastern and Western Cape.

His practical experience in strategic planning, programme and project development, application of legislation and biodiversity management positions him as an expert in the environmental sector.

Bruce’s expertise and experience includes the following:

  • Development and implementation of strategic plans for the environmental sector
  • Development and implementation of feasibility studies for prospective programmes and projects
  • Development and implementation of Management and Risk Assessment Plans for the environmental sector
  • Conception and development of Ecotourism products and associated activities
  • Development and implementation of corporate social investment projects
  • Practical implementation of dry land erosion programmes and projects
  • Practical implementation of Carbon Sequestration Restoration projects, such as the Spekboom restoration initiatives
 
  • Practical training in the implementation of restotration and rehabilitation projects in degraded areas.
  • Alien plant invasive species management in line with NEM:BA, as well as the application of a variety of biocontrol initiatives
  • Wetland identification and classification
  • Arc GIS and database management
  • Aerial and land-based Game Census surveys
  • Development and implementation of environmental monitoring
    • Landscape Functionality Assessments, pre- and post-restoration
    • Spekboom restoration - survival of plants and factors influencing this
    • Vegetation and veld assessments
    • Marine resource utilization - creel surveys

Bruce has contributed to the development of three National Park management plans as well as the associated lower level implementation plans and a multitude of research initiatives during his tenure in the formal conservation sector.

Bruce holds a National Diploma in Nature Conservation (Cum Laude), obtained from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Saasveld Campus) in 2006. He received an award for academic excellence during this period.

Courses completed during the previous ten years include: Financial Management, Advanced Project Management, Arc GIS, Wetland Identification and Classification, Limited Pest Control, Land Degradation Course.

Bruce has travelled extensively within southern Africa as well as internationally, gaining invaluable environmental conservation exposure which has assisted him greatly in his career. He has also gained other valuable skills in the fields of construction, viticulture, agriculture and carpentry as well as management of people. International travel includes Europe, Indonesia, South Pacific Islands (Fiji, Samoa), Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the USA.

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