SCIENTIFIC TERRESTRIAL SERVICES

TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY ASSESSMENTS:

Staff at STS are highly experienced in biodiversity assessments for all taxa across the African continent. Further services offered include screening and risk assessments, Biodiversity Action Plans, Biodiversity Management Plans, Biodiversity Offset Plans, Alien and Invasive Species Management Plans, site walk-downs for protected species, terrestrial monitoring and rehabilitation plans.

 

Sectoral coverage
  • Commercial and residential development (Guillaume Nel, M&T Development, Central Development and numerous other Town Planners and other environmental companies)
  • Commercial and residential development (Guillaume Nel, M&T Development, Central Development and numerous other Town Planners and other environmental companies)
  • Linear developments such as pipelines (Lepelle Northern Works, various mining companies), powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom) and roads (SANRAL and various mining companies)
  • Mining across all sub sectors and all regions of South Africa, Southern, East and West Africa from junior mining companies and small quarry operators, to the largest diversified mining Companies (Anglo Platinum, Assore, Pan African Resources, Kumba Iron Ore and Glencore)
  • Industrial developments and facilities (BMW and Enstra Papers, Unilever).
Reporting

Reports generated provide both qualitative and quantitative data on the terrestrial ecology associated with each project. Staff at STS are highly competent at using the latest GIS software and presenting data in a clear yet informative manner in the form of maps and graphs. This, coupled with scientifically sound reporting, conveys results in an easy to understand manner, while complying with all relevant stakeholder requirements.

    PROTECTED TREES AND PLANT PERMIT APPLICATIONS:

    Sectoral coverage

    Residential / commercial developments, linear developments (roads, pipelines and powerlines), mining operations and expansions.

    Reporting

    Field assessment and identification of protected tree / floral species, compilation of technical documentation, submission of application forms to regional and national authorities, and development of nursery permit applications and implementation plans.

    Floral assessment aspects:

    • Multidisciplinary assessments
    • Prefeasibility and feasibility phase fatal flaw assessments
    • Alien and Invasive Control and Management Plans
    • Biodiversity Action Plans
    • Biodiversity Offset Plans
    • Terrestrial Rehabilitation Plans
    • Specialist Floral Assessments
    • Desktop Vegetation Assessments
    • Red Data List floral surveys
    • Floral habitat sensitivity and floral community mapping
    • Protected tree and protected flora surveys and permit applications
    • Terrestrial floral monitoring surveys

    Specialist Faunal Assessments

    • RDL faunal surveys
    • Herpetological assessments
    • Small and large mammal assessments
    • Wetland mammal surveys and impact assessment
    • General invertebrate assessments
    • Avifaunal assessments

    MEET OUR TEAM

    Christoper Hooton

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    Chris obtained his National Diploma in Nature Conservation (2006-2008) and then proceeded to complete his BTech Nature Conservation degree (2011-2013), both at Tshwane University of Technology. Chris’s BTech research thesis looked at successfully calculating Spotted Hyaena population size using infrared camera traps and the capture-recapture model for population calculation.

    Chris’s working career spans various departments, organizations and fields. A year was spent working for the Special Investigations Unit of the then Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE) in the Gauteng and North West province, focussing on the control of illegal trade in endangered species. Whilst working for GDACE Chris actively involved himself in the provincial game reserves, assisting with floral and faunal assessments.

    As part of his BTech studies, Chris went to work for the Lowveld Wild Dog Project, based in Savé Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe. Here he gained invaluable field experience in large carnivore work. Whilst in Zimbabwe, Chris assisted with the collaring, tracking and population management of the Wild Dogs, and also helped with a lion and leopard collaring project with his supervisor and the reserve ecologist. After leaving Zimbabwe, Chris moved to Phinda Private Game Reserve to start his research for his thesis project. This research involved using total species counts and call-up methods to gain benchmark population numbers in order to confirm population numbers calculated from the camera trap method, in order to show that hyaena populations can be successfully calculated through the use of camera traps and a capture recapture methodology.

    Following his work on Spotted Hyaenas, Chris joined Scientific Terrestrial Services in November 2013 as an ecologist, specialising in faunal studies.

    Nelanie Cloete

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    SACNASP REG.NO: 400503/14

    Nelanie has a master’s degree in Botany and Biotechnology (2006) and in Environmental Management (2013), in the field of water quality and factors influencing the quality during the purification process.

    Nelanie began building a career by working at an environmental consultancy, specialising in Ecological studies, Basic Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments. Since 2008 she acted as a specialist consultant on floral assessments and other environmental processes and applications. Nelanie expanded her abilities within the environmental management field by conducting processes such as Water Use License Applications (WULA), General Authorisation (GA) Applications, validation and verification applications and environmental and water use licence audits, performance assessments and fulfilling the duties of an Environmental Control Officer (ECO) for both Environmental Management Programmes and Approved Water Use Licences. Nelanie also gained extensive experience in protected tree and floral removal permit applications in numerous provinces. Nelanie attended numerous courses pertaining to Enforcements and Compliance to Environmental Management, Water Management Resources and Water Use Licence Application Processes. Nelanie is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). Nelanie is also a professional member of the Grassland Society of South Africa (GSSA), the Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc), South African Association of Botanists (SAAB), a member of the International Affiliation for Impact Assessments (IAIAsa) group and a member of the Gauteng Wetland Form (GWF).

    Kim Marais

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    SACNASP REG.NO: 117137/17

    Kim obtained her undergraduate BSc. at Wits University in Ecology, Environmental Science and Conservation (EEC). During the course of her undergraduate degree she was involved in various animal behaviour, population dynamics and insect and mammal trapping assessments. In 2012 she obtained her BSc. Honours degree, at Wits University in Zoology and published her Honours thesis titled “A Comparative analysis of the diets of Varanus albigularis and Varanus niloticus in South Africa” in African Zoology, April 2014. Furthermore, Kim has extensive field experience in tracking of Bitis arientans and Python natelensis via radio telemetry and all data capturing requirements.

    Upon graduation Kim was hired as a Junior Environmental Scientist at ILISO Consulting (Pty) Ltd where she gained a good knowledge of various water, environmental and zoological aspects. She has been responsible for various phases of Impact Assessment Reports and Environmental Management Programmes for clients such as Eskom, SANRAL and the Department of Water and Sanitation. Additional to her work in South Africa, Kim worked on various projects in Uganda, Central Africa, where she compiled Environmental Impact Reports for various irrigation and sewer projects throughout Uganda. After relocating to Cape Town in 2015, Kim joined the SAS Environmental Group of Companies Cape Town branch where she has undertaken various faunal assessments as part of wetland offsetting projects and various mining locations.

    Daryl van der Merwe

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    Daryl obtained a BSc Degree in Environmental Science at the University of Pretoria. During his studies, he came to understand the effect of humans on the landscape which he loved. Thereafter, he obtained a honours degree in Plant Science, looking at how the removal of large herbivores can lead to cascading effects within ecosystems. Upon completing his honours he worked as an environmental consultant (undertaking specialist work as an ecologist as well as gaining the experiences as an EAP) and sadly came to see that even when structures are put in place for conservation, natural landscapes could still be at risk of unsustainable development. He continued his training as a scientist at the University of Cape Town where he completed a Masters Degree in Conservation Biology trying to elucidate the factors responsible for Martial Eagle declines in the Kruger National Park. He hopes to continue to develop the necessary skills which will enable him to inform people of the importance and the value of conserving natural landscapes in such a way that all South Africans may benefit . Daryl joined the Scientific Terrestrial Services team in 2019.

    Christien Steyn

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    Christien Steyn completed her BSc Environmental Science undergraduate degree at the University of Pretoria in 2013. She then continued her studies at the University of Pretoria the following year to complete a BSc(Hons) Plant Science degree, focusing on how plant traits were enabling alien plant species to move to higher elevations in Sani Pass, Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, South Africa. Christien pursued a Master of Science degree where she assessed the invasion risk of a global pool of alien plant species to the Southern Ocean Islands – using distribution modelling approaches to predict potential future invaders to the islands. During this time, she continued her work on plant traits by partaking in two relief voyages to Marion Island in 2015 and 2016. On Marion Island she assisted with the collection and analyses of functional traits for all native and alien plants occurring on the island. To further develop her knowledge of plant traits, she participated in the second Plant Functional Traits Course (2016) held in Chengdu, China. Participants of this course conducted field work in the Hengduan Mountains at elevations reaching 4300 m.a.s.l. Christien has thus gained botanical field work experience in South Africa, China and on the remote, sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Christien joined the Scientific Terrestrial Services team in 2018.