Trained as a wildlife ecologist, Mike Knight has spent most of his career within South African National Parks. Starting as a scientific officer based in the southern Kalahari researching large mammal ecology, he progressed through regional ecologist, head of Research for inland parks, General Manager for Park Planning & Development, as well as a stint as Acting Managing Executive for Conservation Services.
He was instrumental in expanding the conservation estate by about 6,000km2 inclusive of three new National Parks, and another of 1,300 km2 around the astronomical Square Array is in the pipeline. His experience is in large mammal ecology, aerial surveys, ecophysiology, park planning and conservation planning in Southern, Eastern and North Central Africa.
Mike Knight’s current position is as Leader for WWF’s Kavango Zambezi transboundary (KAZA) programme, in which his role is to expand the WWF's footprint through cooperative partnerships and influence in this vast African landscape, that offers so many conservation and development opportunities. He Chaired the SADC Rhino Management Group (RMG) for the last 12 years and is currently the Chair of the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group.