Frank Scheepers

Verification Officer: Frank Scheepers
Verification Officer: Frank Scheepers

Frank was born in Clanwilliam and attended the local primary school up to grade 9. He then went on to work in Somerset West, which is where he ultimately met his wife who was from Klenivlei in the Cederberg. Given the choice of living in Somerset West or moving to the small hamlet of Kleinvlei and a life in the country he chose the latter and has been happily settled there since as a small-scale farmer. While living in Kleinvlei, Frank was invited to experience a Cape Leopard Trust wilderness camp at Matjiesriver, and this is where his interest in nature was first awakened. Frank is fascinated by the beauty of leopards, even
though leopards can cause economic loss to subsistence farmers such as himself.

Frank is one of four Verification Officers trained by the Cape Leopard Trust nominated by their community to monitor leopard activity in the area. Working alongside CLT Community Outreach Officer, Chavoux Luyt, Frank motivated the Kleinvlei community to participate in the first kraal reinforcement project driven by the Cape Leopard Trust. The Verification Officers have been trained to keep a predation incident register, to photograph and log the GPS locations of predation incidents and to deploy and use a camera trap for monitoring predators. Each officer was equipped with a bicycle donated by Qhubeka for mobility within their communities, as well as a camera trap and a Blackview Smartphone for data collection.

It is hoped this recorded information will lead to an improved understanding of leopard behaviour and ultimately aid conservation. The training of the VO’s is a skills development initiative as part of the Cape Leopard Trust’s broader environmental education project empowered by Table Mountain Fund.

The Cape Leopard Trust would like to thank all project partners and sponsors: Hi-Tec, Qhubeka, Ford Wildlife Foundation, Cederberg Private Cellar, Driehoek Farm, Bushmanskloof, Table Mountain Fund (TMF) and ABAX Foundation.

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