The Kruger National Park (KNP) made history by appointing its first ever female Head Ranger, Cathy Dreyer, who has an exemplary record in conservation management, law enforcement, people and strategic management competencies.
Dreyer begins her new role on 1 May 2021.
She is currently the Conservation Manager at Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) in the Eastern Cape responsible for both terrestrial and marine areas. Before moving to Addo, she was based in the KNP contributing to the protection and conservation of black rhino in the Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) of the Park.
She coordinated and participated in the implementation of aerial surveillance; and was also instrumental in drawing up protection strategies and patrol tactics aimed at protecting black rhino in the KNP. Prior to this, Ms Dreyer was employed by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency as the Conservation Manager for the Great Fish River Nature Reserve home to one of the key black rhino populations in South Africa.
Dreyer’s Head Ranger appointment comes soon after a successful strategy session
Dreyer’s appointment comes soon after the holding a successful strategy session held in March with stakeholders and employees on preparing a Rhino Implementation Plan aimed at arresting the decline of the rhino population with KNP.
Managing Executive of the KNP, Gareth Coleman congratulated Dreyer on her new appointment saying: “We are looking forward to welcoming Cathy back to the KNP. She is no stranger to the challenges faced by the Ranger corps in conservation management and fighting wildlife crime.
“She brings with her a wealth of conservation management experience and in conserving rhinos in particular. She has proven herself as a dedicated conservationist and a law enforcement officer.”
He added that “SANParks is currently preoccupied with developing effective management strategies to protect our Rhino population and to more effectively manage conservation and wildlife crime in the park in general. A Turnaround Plan – which addresses these and other key security, infrastructure and human capital challenges is being widely canvassed and consulted upon.
“Cathy will be key in driving these changes. We know that she will bring new energy, ideas and passion to our dedicated team within the Park,” he concluded.
She is humbled and excited to start her new job.
“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity, particularly at a time when the Kruger National Park is vigorously and earnestly working on its Turnaround Plan. Leadership is a privilege and I look forward to working alongside the dedicated, committed and passionate Ranger corps and conservation management teams in the Park,” Dreyer said.
Cathy replaces Ken Maggs who retired after four decades with SANParks.
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