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GRNP welcomes new area manager

Megan Taplin is the new Area Manager for the Knysna section of the Garden Route National Park. Johan de Klerk who was the Area Manager for Knysna for the last three years has moved to Mokala National Park, Northern Cape.

Taplin is no stranger to South African National Parks (SANParks) having worked for the organization since 2001.

Her first job in Addo Elephant National Park was as an Environmental Control Officer and later promoted to Roads Project Manager with Vuka Environmental Services (the implementing agent for Expanded Public Works Programme projects at the time). She then took up a position as a Social Ecologist (now called People &Conservation Officers) at Addo Elephant National Park in 2003 where she worked extensively with local communities and schools. She was then appointed as the Regional Communications and Marketing Manager for the Frontier Region (Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra).

In July 2012, she was appointed as a Park Manager for the Mountain Zebra National Park (Cradock).

She completed schooling in Cape Town (Westerford High School) and then completed her four-year B.Sc. degree majoring in nature conservation, zoology and animal physiology at Stellenbosch University. Her 4th year thesis was a management plan for the then Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (now Table Mountain National Park) with a focus on the bontebok population. She is currently busy with her Masters degree in Environmental Science through WITS University.

Her hobbies include hiking and being out in nature. She also enjoys reading. ‘I love a good book but rarely get time these days. My two children keep me busy’ she says.

Park Manager for the Garden Route National Park (GRNP), Paddy Gordon, has welcomed Megan as part of the dynamic SANParks team based in the Garden Route. He says her passion for protecting the environment and her experience will strengthen the team. He urged the GRNP team to support Megan as they did Johan. He quoted Henry Ford ‘coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success’ and concluded lots of work lies ahead to make the Knysna section a success.

The GRNP team bid farewell to Johan de Klerk who was Park Manager for Knysna for 3 years before his transfer to Mokala National Park. Speaking at the farewell, de Klerk expressed his appreciation at the support provided to him and thanked his staff and the people of Knysna for doing their bit to advance the protection of nature.

Picture by Sally Shorkend


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