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Landscape Ecologist

at CapeNature
Published July 31, 2023
Location Hermanus, South Africa
Category General  
Job Type Full-Time  


CapeNature seeks to appoint a dynamic individual to provide a professional landscape scale scientific support service, inclusive of the marine interface and marine protected areas. CapeNature implements a landscape scale approach to conservation, conservation management that recognises complex socio-ecological systems and involves working in collaboration and working at large scale. The Landscape Ecologist forms part of the conservation intelligence team and will provide support to protected areas and off-reserve components in Landscape South (Overberg and Langeberg regions).

The purpose of the Landscape Ecologist is to ensure the integration of knowledge and planning systems into the landscape and its associated marine interface and protected area management; facilitate the implementation of strategies and biodiversity work plans including protected area management plans; analyse data and produce management reports; guide ecological planning and review; develop and maintain partnerships to augment capacity and capability to conduct surveillance, monitoring, and research; assist with developing staff competencies and mitigating landscape ecological risk and promote resilient ecological infrastructure.


KRA 1: Manage effective data, knowledge and information flow in order to produce quality data, information and intelligence to inform and facilitate strategic adaptive management:

Management is informed by science-based advice and decision support.
Accurate, reliable, and relevant data are captured and analysed.
Biodiversity monitoring is done according to set protocols and standards.
Priority biodiversity species and other identified priorities are monitored according to set protocols and standards.

KRA 2: Provide ecological decision support for effective landscape conservation, inclusive of the marine interface and protected areas and ensure sound scientific analysis of data through coordination to guide management planning and assessment:

Protected area expansion is aligned with the Provincial Protected Area Expansion Strategy.
Support stewardship, protected area expansion and custodian initiatives.
Support annual protected area operational planning.
Comment on research permit applications and support the LandUse scientist with ecological assessments.
Provide accurate biodiversity management advice aligned with relevant legislation.
Provide guidance and comment on Game Management Plans and other natural resource use applications.
Provide scientific support with regards to landscape law-enforcement and compliance requirements.

KRA 3: Facilitate and lead integrated landscape and protected area planning and review, inclusive of the marine interface:

Lead annual review and approval of protected area ecological workplans.
Lead the development, revision and approval of protected area management plans.
Support METT assessments conducted according to schedule, protocols and standards.
Ecological considerations inform decisions regarding infrastructure developments and tourism events on CapeNature managed protected areas.

KRA 4: Build landscape intelligence knowledge and capacity and engage stakeholders and partners to support conservation management and ecosystem resilience through coordination and networking:

Provide professional decision, advisory, regulatory and liaison support functions.
Use policy or planning to devise solutions for biodiversity related challenges.
Develop and maintain informal and formal partnerships with relevant role players.
Support funding initiatives and lever effective partnerships.


An appropriate tertiary qualification in conservation biology/botany/zoology (NQF level 9 or higher) and at least 5 years of relevant experience within the Western Cape.
A thorough understanding of ecological theory, processes, and components of biodiversity.
A broad knowledge of current environmental legislation.
A broad knowledge of research methodology as well as monitoring principles and techniques.
Demonstrated data analysis, interpretation, and technical report writing experience and capability.
Physically and mentally fit and willing to undertake fieldwork under varying conditions.
Must have a valid driver’s license and be competent in driving long distances and 4x4 vehicles.
Proficiency in two of the three official languages of the Western Cape.
Demonstrate competency in the use of Microsoft Office 365 suite.
Demonstrate proficiency in GIS platforms such as QGIS.
Registration with SACNASP as a Professional Natural Scientist.
No criminal record.


Strong statistical analysis skills and ability to interpret complex datasets, use appropriate modelling techniques and link these to appropriate conservation management recommendations.
Knowledge and ecological understanding of the Fynbos, Succulent Karoo, Freshwater, and Marine biomes of the Western Cape.
A good understanding of the principles of systematic conservation planning.
A good understanding of the biodiversity stewardship process in the Western Cape.
A good understanding of the main biodiversity threats in the Western Cape.
Ability to problem solve, prioritise, and cope with dynamic working circumstances.
Excellent multi-tasking and time-management skills.
Excellent communication, inter-personal and English writing skills.