The Scientific Services Division uses a holistic approach to balance conservation of biodiversity and development. Interventions strategies undertaken by the division include collaborative approach with stakeholders to achieve improved land and habitat conservation, support for conservation business ventures, undertaking applied research and wildlife species conservation, support for training and capacity building and law enforcement to protect the wildlife heritage.
The division is maned by Chief Ecologist supported by ecologists and a GIS technician. The Chief Ecologist reports to the Director Conservation who in turn reports to the Director General. The Chief ecologist, GIS Technician and Principal Ecologist are based at Head Office while other ecologists are based at various research stations country-wide. The ecologists produce publications in various international journals timorously.
The Division is comprised of the following units;
Extension and Interpretation
2. LAW ENFORCEMENT
Law enforcement is one of the core functions of the Scientific Services Division. Law enforcement ensures that the division undertakes its obligation of enforcing statutory Acts including the Parks and Wildlife Act (Chapter 20:14), Trapping of Animals Act, Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act, the Bees Act, Research Plan and the Quelea Control Act.
The mission of the division is ensuring optimal bio-diversity through the maintenance of viable population habitat and ecological integrity and to support and promote sustainable community-based tourism and wildlife management.
4. OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES
Conduct contemporary globally benchmarked and continuous research
This is done through carrying out of (a) aerial and (b) ground surveys of species numbers and distribution. Conduct periodic inventories of flora and fauna. Monitor changes of habitats species population and behaviour as a result of utilisation and recommend management programmes. Institute management programmes based on monitoring e.g. weed control population management, quelea control, game water supplies, fire control etc.
Generate technical information to support wildlife management
Scientific Services Division develops databases of fauna and flora in and outside the Parks Estate. Develop other databases with technical information to support wildlife management. Formulate and review species management plans. Undertake a feasibility study of and promote intensive production systems, aquaculture, game farming/ranching and captive breeding.
Enforce timely, consistent and systematic Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for all development work and projects in the Parks Estate and beyond
The division conducts EIAs upon request and as an ongoing exercise. Establish tourism/development carrying capacities and monitoring mechanisms. Comply with international conventions and protocols on permits and trade legislation.
Initiate effective and integrated wildlife planning and management systems that involve local people
Division conduct extensive stakeholder consultations. Develop a participatory planning process. Develop effective partnerships with other research institutions. Initiate capacity building through collaborative research.
Here are some articles from research activities around the country:
How do Lebombo ironwood trees fare against elephants and fire? Click here to view full article
Wildlife management in Gonarezhou National Park, Southeast Zimbabwe-Climate change implications Click here to read full article
Wildlife Tourism in Gonarezhou National Park Click here to view full article