The Cape Leopard Trust - Using research as a tool for conservation & finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict
Monday, 17 December 2012 06:36

Adventures with CLT, An Intern’s Perspective

I came to Cape Leopard Trust to complete a 3-month internship as part of my continued South African Game Ranger career enhancement.  My goals were two-fold, to become involved in the on-going research and to assist with the eco-school camps.  I quickly learned how to set up and breakdown the campsite for school groups.  Trying to teach kids how to put up tents can be challenging.

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Demonstrating how to put up a tent

 Learning about the various animals of the Cederberg was enjoyable as it allowed me to provide presentations and answer questions from students about animal behavior and habits. 

Taking the school groups on educational outings tested my own level of fitness.  In time I became a better rock climber.  The job requires lots of endurance for the long hikes with students.  My favorite activity became teaching the students about tracking skills and then taking them on expeditions around the campsite and river areas looking for tracks. Prior to coming to CLT I had never used a GPS.   I learned how to program coordinates from collared leopards and caracal data into a GPS and lead students to kill sites to collect scientific data.   

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Having fun showing a student which bone we had found at a caracal kill site

The students as well as I liked checking the camera trap photos to see what species of animals visit the area.  I even learned the fundamentals that go into setting up a camera trap.  Lastly, I was able to improve my 4x4 driving skills through the search for Titus, the leopard, by checking the caller signal on a his trap utilizing VHF telemetry to monitor for trigger status.  I loved the quiet morning drives into the karoo.  I know some of the time that Titus must have been watching and gave me at least a paw wave.

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Off to check the trap in Frikkadel, the CLT Suzuki

The most fascinating work to me involved assisting Quinton with the setting of a variety of leopard traps: single closed-end cage traps, walk-through double door cage traps, and foot hold traps (some baited).  Leopard research is essential to continue to learn more about these valuable apex predators. 

I would like to thank the Martins’ for providing me with the opportunity!
Sheryl Key-Moore

The CLT Education Project is looking for an intern to help with camps during both camp seasons in 2013. Please email elizabeth@capeleopard.org.za for more details.

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.

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Latest News Updates

  • 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
  • CLT job opportunity: Cederberg project and research assistant

    CLT job opportunity: Cederberg project and research assistant

    The Cape Leopard Trust is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified person to assist the Cederberg Project and Research Manager. This position is based at the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, Cederberg Wilderness. Please read the attached vacancy notice carefully and note the closing date of 24 February 2017.
    Written on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 11:58

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