New Avis Polo Vivo Joins the CLT Fleet

New Avis Polo Vivo Joins the CLT Fleet
Published: 28 November 2018

The Cape Leopard Trust Environmental Education Project was thrilled to be presented with a new vehicle by our partner, Avis. The Polo Vivo will be a vital tool that enables us to reach communities and schools located in the outlying areas of the Cape Boland, close to leopard habitat. The new vehicle means that our environmental educators will be able visit rural communities and schools in a wide variety of destinations to raise awareness of the importance of leopards and the diminishing habitats upon which they depend.

Leopards are the Apex predators in the Cape Fold Mountains, so it’s vital people understand that leopards have an important role in eco-system functioning, because as top predators they maintain a healthy and natural balance.

Our aim is to address important conservation and environmental issues through environmental education, and part of this includes helping people foster a greater understanding of the meaning of the leopard as an umbrella species. By protecting the leopard, we ultimately protect its habitat. And by promoting the leopard as a flagship species, we are able to highlight and add context to broader environmental challenges.

The environmental education component of the Trust’s work reaches out to numerous schools and organisations to engage with learners and communities. These learners range from youngsters in primary schools to teenagers in high schools and, in addition, adults such as farm labourers, farm managers and landowners. In 2019, we plan to incorporate and share some of the findings from our most recent research work, and use it to inform and support predator management. Over the course of this year we revised all learning material to make it more leopard relevant for communities, in an attempt to minimise and mitigate human-wildlife conflict such as illegal snaring and trapping, as well as the indiscriminate use of poisons and other environmentally unethical practices. The lesson plans are CAPS curriculum compliant to support the WCED and teachers who must find a way to incorporate sustainable development into all learning by making it relevant and tangible.

Our work includes scheduling regular contact sessions at schools and farms, thus establishing an on-going relationship and connection with those who we engage with. It is a priority for us to connect with those living closest to the mountains in the Boland as they are the ones who can take the first step to help us protect our unique biodiversity. Without the vehicle sponsorship from Avis, we would not be able to conduct this work as efficiently and regularly.

Any schools or youth groups in the Boland area that would be interested to get involved can email Hadley Lyners: [email protected]

We thank Avis and their team for the continued support of the Cape Leopard Trust and our work, and we look forward to many more years of partnership. When you are next out in the Boland, keep an eye out to see if you can spot us!

Acceptable trapping techniques

icon no trap The Cape Leopard Trust’s position statement on acceptable trapping techniques for carnivore research

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