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Mosibudi Mangena

Minister Mosibudi Mangena Opens National Zoo's Centre for Co

Mosibudi Mangena 49%

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Pretoria, South Africa - The Minister of Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena, officially opened the National Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Science (CfCS) this morning. The Centre is a first of its kind in South Africa.


Services that will now be rendered by the Centre include the application of DNA technologies for wildlife, disease surveillance and forensic diagnostics. It will also offer advice on disciplines that include nutrition, ecology, veterinary medicine and diagnostics. Participation in cooperative species management programmes will be coordinated and facilitated by the Centre. The centre has already established itself in the field of wildlife disease epidemiology and offers support and training to various SADC countries.


In his opening address, Minister Mangena mentioned that the National Zoo (NZG) was declared a national research facility in 2004 under the auspices of the National Research Foundation (NRF). This declaration of the NZG into a national research facility brought about a new mandate for research that lead to the establishment of a research department at the National Zoo in 2005.


“The Centre for Conservation Science will be developed as a centre of excellence that will focus on conservation medicine and conservation biology. This centre will now conduct, coordinate and facilitate biodiversity research as a cross-cutting function with in the NZG. In addition the centre will include research being conducted on the public interface. This specific research will enhance the NZG’s ability to engage with the visitors and influence their attitudes and behaviour,” said Mr Mangena.


Manager of the NZG’s Research Department, Prof Antoinette Kotze, said that since 2005 PhD level researchers have been appointed in different disciplines that include molecular genetics, ecology, epidemiology, pathology and nutrition. “In an attempt to be in line with modern world zoo trends, this new and exciting initiative resulted from the combining of the research and veterinary departments into a single centre,” adds Prof Kotze.

Mr Mangena added: “The establishment of this centre marks a milestone in the history of the NZG and places it amongst a select few zoos that have dedicated research capacity. As far as we know the NZG is the only zoo in the world to be declared a national research facility. The centre’s focus on conservation medicine and conservation science places it in the forefront of innovation in zoo-based research”.


As a national research facility the centre will afford access to equipment and a well managed animal collection to the research and student community.


This Centre will further contribute to the NRF’s Vision 2015 strategic plan by providing a first class platform for biodiversity conservation research. The aim is to build professionals of the future that contribute to biodiversity conservation knowledge on a national and international level.



Angeliné Cronje




Read full article: www.zandavisitor.com


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