Print version ISSN 0075-6458
MCLOUGHLIN, Craig A.; DEACON, Andrew; SITHOLE, Hendrik and GYEDU-ABABIO, Thomas. History, rationale, and lessons learned: Thresholds of potential concern in Kruger National Park river adaptive management. Koedoe [online]. 2011, vol.53, n.2, pp. 69-95. ISSN 0075-6458.
The Kruger National Park's (KNP) adopted system of management, called Strategic Adaptive Management (SAM), originated during the Kruger National Park Rivers Research Programme (KNPRRP) of the 1990s. An important concept in SAM is the thresholds of potential concern (TPCs), representing end-points in a continuum of change. TPCs within the KNP SAM system guide management if or when reached, 'red-flagging' possible negative biodiversity impacts and catalysing consideration of management options. TPC-related monitoring generates the strategic information for ongoing evaluation, learning and adaptation within SAM. Post-KNPRRP, although river flow and water quality TPCs have been implemented partly, those designed to detect undesirable changes in biodiversity have not been implemented, until recently. This paper describes the history, rationale, application and ongoing developments associated with the KNP river TPCs over the last decade, providing some key lessons for organisations utilising SAM. The paper concludes with an overview of new thinking and future directions envisaged for the KNP river TPCs, as part of the KNP SAM system. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: This paper documents important concepts of strategic adaptive management associated with the KNP river systems. Understanding, related to the rationale and justification for use and development or refinement of the thresholds of potential concern, lays an important foundation for ongoing work in managing these rivers adaptively.