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

  • Countdown to The Cape Leopard Trust 10 Year Anniversary Fundraiser

    Countdown to The Cape Leopard Trust 10 Year Anniversary Fundraiser

    A stunning leopard picture by renowned '21 Icons' photographer, Adrian Steirn, is one of the attractive and discerning items that will be up for auction on Saturday at the landmark 10-year anniversary fundraiser being hosted by Leopards Leap Family Vineyards. The lunch will be prepared by 3 Cape Town Celebrity…
    Written on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:23
  • A Big Thank You to UPS with our Leopard on Wheels

    A Big Thank You to UPS with our Leopard on Wheels

    We would like to extend a special thank you to Jasen Smallbone and the team at UPS SCS South Africa for their outstanding service and assistance with a rather unusual 'leopard' that had to get to South Africa as soon as possible. The special Leopard 29'er carbon cycle frame had…
    Written on Monday, 11 August 2014 08:05
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