Dr Ian Little


Ian completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UCT. He was in the 2004/5 Conservation Biology MSc class and continued to complete his PhD in 2010 focusing on grassland ecology and impacts of grazing and burning practices on grassland biodiversity in moist highland grassland systems. Since 2010 Ian has worked for the Endangered Wildlife Trust as the manager for their Threatened Grassland Species Programme and since 2016 as the Senior Manager for Habitats. Ian is extensively involved in strategic conservation implementation across the country and oversees ongoing applied conservation research focused on current conservation questions. This research is largely species focused and ranges across all taxonomic groups and ecosystems. Ian’s research interests include disturbance dynamics, population modelling, population genetics and threatened species ecology. Some of the work that Ian oversees was recently acknowledged with an International Whitley Award for conservation. Currently Ian is co-supervising and supporting post-graduate students looking at Yellow-breasted Pipit (Anthus chloris) ecology and genetics, trade impacts on Sungazer Lizards (Smaug giganteus) and habitat requirements for endemic and threatened grassland species.

Recent peer-reviewed publications

Pietersen, D.W., Little, I.T., Jansen, R. and McKechnie, A.E. 2017. Predicting the distribution of the vulnerable yellow-breasted pipit (Anthus chloris) using species distribution modelling. Emu  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01584197.2017.1372689

Little, I.T., Hockey, P.A.R. & Jansen, R. 2015. Predation drives nesting success in grassland passerines: fire and grazing management for avian conservation. Ostrich 86: 97-111. 

Little, I.T., Hockey, P.A.R. & Jansen, R. 2015. Assessing biodiversity integrity for the conservation of grazed and burnt grassland systems: avian field metabolic rates as a rapid assessment tool. Biodiversity & Conservation 24:1443-1471. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-015-0868-x

Little, I.T., Hockey, P.A.R. & Jansen, R. 2015. Impacts of fire and grazing management on South Africa’s moist highland grasslands: a case study of the Steenkampsberg Plateau, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Bothalia 45(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/abc.v45i1.1786