EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE, CYBERTRACKER AND BIOLOGICAL REPORTER: FROM FIELD RANGER TO CEO. A COMPLETE AND INTEGRATED SYSTEM
Geoff Clinning
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

 

Abstract:
Policy is only as effective as the data used to develop it and subsequently measure the system in relation to it. Adaptively managing at multiple levels and with varying foci requires datasets that speak to multiple levels and allow for varied queries from disparate sources. Therefore, raw data collected in the field forms the basis for contrasting but linked datasets such as patrol monitoring, law enforcement (compliance) and biological monitoring. These data form the root of some of our most crucial management decisions, which, in an adaptive management framework provide the basis for evaluation, reporting and reintegration of information back into the management cycle. Breakdowns in the flow of data can, therefore, have far reaching consequences. Lost and missing data, poor data management and incorrectly captured records can lead to incorrect reporting and limit scientifically rigorous decisions – effectively blinding policy makers from the very targets they aim to achieve. Worldwide the collection of information relating biological aspects, patrols and legislative requirements remains a challenging task for conservation organizations. With the importance of such data and these challenges in mind, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has invested in a CyberTracker based patrol and biological monitoring system. I will give a background to this decision process, what is required once this decision was made and the organisation wide commitment that is required to launch a project of this magnitude. CyberTracker is, however, predominantly a data collection software and results in very large datasets which require a different management approach than traditionally used. How to collate, validate, query, disseminate, etc. the information efficiently, has been my challenge. In the second part of my talk, I will present an outline of custom software called Biological Reporter that I have developed to enable automation of dataflow into the current Ezemvelo systems and reporting lines. Test systems that use CyberTracker and the Biological Reporter have seen a transformation from completely paper-based systems to a fully integrated electronic solution, with unanimous support from all levels of management. I present on components of the fully electronic system, the benefits of such a system, challenges in implementation and the lessons learned along the way. I highlight the need for a Biological Reporter like tool and recommend a similar approach for other institutions that may use the CyberTracker collection tool to make full use of the substantial investment of moving to electronic databases.

 

Presentation Topic
EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE, CYBERTRACKER AND BIOLOGICAL REPORTER: FROM FIELD RANGER TO CEO. A COMPLETE AND INTEGRATED SYSTEM
Contact Mr Clinning:
Email Geoff Clinning