The Cape Leopard Trust - Using research as a tool for conservation & finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict
Friday, 08 April 2011 00:18

Interesting turn for the CLT Boland project

With the southern survey of the CLT Boland project rapidly drawing to a close, we are thrilled to report that the number of leopards for the Jonkershoek, Hottentots-Holland, Helderberg Nature Reserves and the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve currently stands on 16 adult individuals!  Once the survey is finalised towards the end of April, we will give a more detailed breakdown of our southern survey results.  Below are two of our beautiful southern spotted cats!

Image
Top left: BM14, adult male in Jonkershoek NR. Top right: BF11, adult female at the back of the Bergriver dam.

Our original plan was to survey the Groot Winterhoek region next.  However, the massive veldfires which recently swept through the Limietberg Nature Reserve has inadvertently presented us with a unique opportunity to investigate the effect of fire on the movements of leopards and their prey.  Almost half of the camera stations deployed during the previous survey are now in burnt areas.  By comparing the camera trap data obtained during the 2010 survey with the post-fire camera trap data, we aim to determine how Fynbos fires influence the large-scale movement patterns of leopards, as well as the mammal assemblages at these camera stations.  We shall still deploy some cameras in the Groot Winterhoek region, as preparation for the main northern survey which will take place at a later stage.

Image
Burnt veld in the Stettyns Mountains

Image
Colour soon returns to the scorched landscape.

The Kogelberg Nature Reserve also bore the brunt of a devastating fire that started near Rooisand on the R44.  A huge chunk of the reserve burnt – including several of our current camera locations.  We are now very eager to see the results of these cameras after the fire.

Image
A camera location in the Kogelberg before and after the fire

On that note, we would like to extend a very special thank you to dedicated CapeNature staff and private landowners who, in the midst of very difficult conditions, took the trouble to save our cameras from areas about to burn.  Hats off to you – thank you so much!  We did not lose a single camera in the fires – although two came very very close, as the next series of pictures show (the fire came through at night, moving very fast, and it was impossible to fetch the cameras).  In it one can see the blaze approaching, and eventually burning right around the camera.  These pictures were taken by the camera on the opposite side; both cameras melted due to the heat of the flames, but when we got to them 6 days later, both were still taking pictures!! 

Image

Image
The ones that got away...  What probably saved these cameras are the fact that they were running on 6V lead cell external batteries – if the normal D-cell batteries were to have been inside the cameras, they would have almost certainly caused more damage.

Until next time then,
Warm greetings from the Boland!
Jeannie & Anita

The Cape Leopard Trust Trapping Techniques

icon no trapShort overview of three trapping methods considered by the Cape Leopard Trust as safe and humane: Cage traps, Foot loop traps or Foot snares, Soft-catch traps, References to relevant scientific literature.

Read more

Latest News Updates

  • Leopard hit by car in Bainskloof - Death of BM30

    Leopard hit by car in Bainskloof - Death of BM30

    On Thursday 16 Feb 2017, a leopard was hit by a car in Bainskloof Pass near Wellington. The animal sustained severe injuries, including a broken back as well as internal trauma, and sadly had to be put down. The Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project was notified of the incident by partner organisation CapeNature,…
    Written on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:39
  • Vacancy: Community Outreach Officer in the Cederberg

    Vacancy: Community Outreach Officer in the Cederberg

    The Cape Leopard Trust is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified Community Outreach Officer to manage its community outreach programme in the Cederberg district and run its environmental education camps at Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve in the Cederberg. The successful candidate will be physically fit, will have experience in establishing and managing community development…
    Written on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 14:56

logo capeleopard absa cape epic

  • Rand Merchant_Bank
  • FNB
  • SA MINT
  • Sandown Motors
  • WWF
  • K-WAY
  • Leopards Leap Wines
  • Bushmans Kloof
  • bridgestone
  • AVIS
  • Deutsche Bank
  • wilderness safaris
  • ABAX
  • BJK Investments
  • Woolworths
  • Rolf Stephan Nussbaum Foundation
Promotional Slideshow