Gerald Swartz

Verification Officer: Gerald Swartz
Verification Officer: Gerald Swartz

Gerald was born in the small community of Bo Martiensrus where he spent most of his life so far. He attended the local Wuppertal Primary School and afterwards the High School in Clanwilliam. From school he straightaway joined his father in farming, later taking over the farming with livestock and small patches of irrigated fields at Bo Martiensrus, including crops and fodder for the livestock.

For Gerald one of the main aspects of leopard ecology that interests him is their interactions with baboons and the “balance of nature” between the different species. He has had major issues with baboons raiding his potato fields recently. He says that his love for nature grew slowly over time since becoming involved with the Cape Leopard Trust.

Gerald is one of four Verification Officers nominated by their communities to monitor leopard activity in the area. Working alongside CLT Community Outreach Officer, Chavoux Luyt, he recently received training in keeping a predation incident register, how to photograph and log GPS location points of livestock predation incidents and how to deploy and use a camera trap. Each officer has also been given a Qhubeka bicycle for mobility within their communities.

It is hoped this recorded information will ultimately contribute to CapeNature’s leopard management policy. The kraal reinforcement project and training of the VO’s is a skills development initiative funded by Table Mountain Fund and part of the Cape Leopard Trust’s broader environmental education project.

The Cape Leopard Trust would like to thank all project partners and sponsors: Hi-Tec, Qhubeka, Ford Wildlife Foundation, Driehoek Farm, Bushmanskloof and ABAX Foundation.

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