The Cape Leopard Trust - Using research as a tool for conservation & finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict

Research Techniques

The Cape Leopard Trust is a research-based organisation that utilises a variety of research techniques to gain a better understanding of the ecology and behaviour of the animals we study.

By gathering invaluable data, we can make informed decisions, based on scientific fact. These data can be applied to areas of resource conservation, human-wildlife conflict mitigation and further research.

This section looks at some of the research techniques adopted by the Cape Leopard Trust.

Camera traps

Cape Leopards are notoriously shy and elusive, and extremely few people have been lucky enough to see one, and when they do it is usually only a short glimpse. Fortunately, there is a solution – digital cameras, containing an infrared sensor triggered by motion and heat (referred to as a camera trap). To read more about the camera trapping techniques we use, click here.

Dietary analysis

As part of the research we conduct on leopards in our project areas, we collect scats for dietary analysis. Through these studies we are able to determine what prey items are favoured by leopards which also have important management implications for this big cat. To read more on dietary analysis, and to find out what forms part of Cape leopards’ diets, click here.

Trapping

In order to gather GPS points, we have to capture and collar leopards in our study areas. As these cats are highly elusive, we need to use innovative, safe and humane ways of catching them. As such, we utilise cage traps and foot loose traps to capture both leopard and caracal for collaring. For more on the trapping techniques we use, click here.

Why we trap and how we do it

Because of the terrain in our project areas, it is seldom possible to use traditional methods of animal capture. It is therefore necessary for us to use trapping procedures that suit the rugged terrain in which we work. To read more about why we trap leopards and caracals and how we trap them, click here.

 

Latest News Updates

  • In the field with Steve Winter

    In the field with Steve Winter

    Wildlife camera trap photography has been with us for a good few years now. Countless research organisations, conservation institutions and private landowners all over the world use camera traps to catch glimpses into the secret lives of shy and nocturnal creatures. Anyone who has ever set a camera trap knows…
    Written on Monday, 01 September 2014 14:23
  • Join Hayden Quinn on his Good Food Journey around South Africa as He Meets The Cape Leopard Trust

    Tune in to SABC3 on Monday 1 September for the next episode of 'Hayden Quinn South Africa' at 9.30pm. Surfer, marine biologist, WWF SASSI ambassador and Australian Master Chef finalist visits South Africa to taste the best of what the country has to offer in partnership with the Woolworths sustainability…
    Written on Friday, 29 August 2014 14:34
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