The Scientific Services Unit (SSU) provides a professional scientific support service to conservation management in the Western Cape Province. Members of the SSU are experts in the fields of indigenous freshwater aquatic ecosystems, plants, invertebrates, freshwater fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals to ensure the continuation of our conservation services.

The SSU also acts as a hub of biodiversity information and interacts regularly with the public as a result of requests for comments, information and advice on a range of scientific topics, including threatened species, wildlife issues, etc.

SSU provides support to conservation management through the maintenance of at least four biodiversity information management systems:

  • The Biodiversity Database
  • The CapeNature Geographical Information System
  • The CapeNature Fire Database
  • The CapeNature Alien Vegetation Database

These information management systems play a crucial role in the capture, curation and dissemination of biodiversity and spatial data and information to support effective and efficient conservation management.

The mission of the Scientific Services Unit (SSU) of CapeNature is to provide professional scientific services to support biodiversity conservation programmes in the Western Cape Province. Conservation scientists and technical assistants
aim to:

  • provide an inventory and assist in the monitoring of the natural heritage of the Western Cape
  • do research or have research done to understand natural systems and processes
  • provide new and revise current policies
  • ensure technology transfer and capacity building towards effective conservation management