Cape Reptile Institute South Africa - About us

Cape Reptile Institute South Africa Cape Reptile Institute South Africa
 

The Cape Reptile Institute was founded by a team of herpetological researchers headed by Dr Tony Phelps

 
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About us:

In 2005 the Cape Reptile Institute was founded by a team of herpetological researchers headed by Dr Tony Phelps to improve and coordinate research and surveys on reptiles in Southern Africa.

The Aims & Objectives of the Institute

Research: To actively promote and coordinate research and surveys within South Africa.

Scientist & Students: To offer guidance and assistance, but to also ensure that visiting herpetologists operate within the current legislation and permit system. The Institute would also provide field trips for specific needs at a modest cost, if required. In either case all data gathered would be made available to the Institute, and forwarded on to Cape Nature. Any samples taken would be lodged at the relevant museum or university within the Western Cape, or other relevant province.

Education & Training: To provide training to staff of Nature Reserves and Game reserves in how to identify and deal with reptiles, particularly snakes, on their property. Reptile talks and demonstrations would be offered to schools.

Consultancy: To provide help and advice, and possible mitigation solutions, to landowners, developers, and farmers with regard to reptiles on their property.

Liaison: To work closely with CapeNature and the Environmental Crime Investigation Services, and other such organisations by forming positive working relationships and effective links to other interested parties.
Members of the Institute

Dr Tony Phelps
A squamate ecologist, Dr Phelps is renowned for his long-term studies of vipers, in Europe and Africa. He has published extensively on the subject. His first book, Poisonous Snakes, was published by Blandford in 1981, and he currently has two more in the final stages to publication: Old World Vipers and The Adder.

He set up the Reptile Institute UK back in the 1970s and it was through this organization that he used to run the reptile field courses. He later designed and ran the Poole Serpentarium as Curator and was the Curator of Fitzsimons Snake Park in Durban, South Africa.He worked as a specialist cameraman on Mark O'Shea's Discovery Channel film Black Mamba. He is an expert on venomous African snakes, and has a wide knowledge of mambas. In his cameraman role, he has worked for many televisions production companies and produced some excellent footage of reptiles in the wild. He is also an acclaimed stills photographer. Tony still runs courses and conducts fieldwork.

Johannes Els

He is the head of herpetology and freshwater fishes for the environmental and protected area’s authority of the government of Sharjah, United Arabian Emirates. Johannes is a field researcher and skilled snake handler, and has a wide knowledge of South African snakes and other reptiles. He is a nature conservation student through the University of South Africa and conducts ecological research on snakes. He has extensive experience in the field of environmental education. He was the curator of reptiles at Cango Wildlife Ranch, one of only four accredited zoological institutions in Africa by PAAZAB (African association of zoos & aquaria) till 2009.

Ryno Bezuidenhout
Ryno Bezuidenhout has been involved with environmental management for many years. Currently he is an environmental manager for the department of defence (DoD), in the Cape Peninsula, Touwsriver and West Coast. He is currently studying for a BA Degree in environmental management through the University of South African. He is involved with biological research on Bitis spp. along the West Coast of Southern Africa.

Marcel Witberg
He is a knowledgeable herpetoculturist with interest in the conservation of South African reptiles. Marcel has been involved with various activities ranging from the removal of snakes in human habitation to assisting in reptile survey’s and public education. He is an honorary nature conservation officer and the secretary of the Cape Reptile Club. He is the institute’s course administrator.
Associated Researchers of the Institute
Dr Mark O'Shea
Dr Mark O'Shea
Dr Cathy Pook
Dr Cathy Pook
Dr Wolfgang Wuster
Dr Wolfgang Wuster
 
 















Dr Tony Phelps
Dr Tony Phelps












Johannes Els
Johannes Els





Ryno Bezuidenhout
Ryno Bezuidenhout



Marcel Witberg
Marcel Witberg
 
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