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Manager: DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town

Rob Little was born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, schooled at King Edward VII High School in Gauteng and his career in conservation began as a Forester in 1974. Rob attained national Diplomas in Forestry and Nature Conservation, a BSc degree in Wildlife Resources from the College of Forestry, Wildlife & Range Sciences, University of Idaho, USA, and a PhD degree on the behavioural ecology, population genetics, management and utilisation of the Greywing Francolin Francolinus africanus from the University of Cape Town. During 1974-1985, he was a forestry researcher, lecturer in forestry and nature conservation and warden of the Cathedral Peak mountain catchment reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg. During 1988-1997, Rob was the co-ordinator of the Gamebird Research Programme at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, which was largely funded by the African Gamebird Research, Education and Development Trust. Rob, Together with Prof. Tim Crowe of UCT, recently published the reference book The Gamebirds of Southern Africa. Rob was Director: Conservation at WWF South Africa from May 1997 until July 2008. His responsibilities included directing the focus and activities of WWF-SA's conservation programmes and leading WWF-SA's contribution to biodiversity and environmental conservation in South Africa. He represented WWF-SA on WWF Network fora such as the Africa & Madagascar Subcommittee and the African Rhino Working Group as well as partnership fora such as the South African IUCN National Membership Committee and the Advisory Board of the Mazda Wildlife Fund. Rob was also the Chairman of the Elephant Management & Owners Association (EMOA) during 2006 to 2008. In April 2009 Rob took up the post of Manager of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the Fitztitute. He now acts as the Fitztitute link with the NRF and DST and manages the research activities which are funded by the CoE using Birds as Keys to Biodiversity Conservation.


  • –present
    Manager: DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town