Paw on the Pulse - CLT Newsletter Winter 2020

Paw on the Pulse - CLT Newsletter Winter 2020
Published: 12 August 2020

Paws for Thought – a message from our CEO

Welcome to our winter newsletter and the opportunity for mellow mid-year reflections. As we began 2020 full of hope and excitement, who could have imagined how quickly our status quo would be so severely shaken. It's difficult to grasp the speed at which an invisible virus can take control of human activities around the world, and few countries have escaped its impact. Adaptations have had to be made at all levels of society as countries grapple with changing economic and social landscapes. It will require patience and compromise to get through it, but as history shows us, this too shall pass. The question is, what new order will evolve from the situation, and is it possible that this rather rude awakening could provide an opportunity for positive change?

This time of uncertainty is difficult to accept because we can't control or anticipate what's coming, our comfort zones are well and truly disrupted, creating fear of the future and wondering how to best protect our families as the virus moves silently and indiscriminately among us, without care or consideration. Perhaps this is a perfect moment to think about a 'tables turned' scenario – and how human development has increasingly taken control of nature's order, with the same chaotic result. For the natural world, life is continually a time of uncertainty and confusion as open spaces disappear at a rate of knots, sacrificed for building developments across landscapes that were once unfenced and safe, providing the resources wildlife needed for survival. As a result, nature is expected to constantly compromise, without having a voice for complaint or reason, and if it can't change quickly enough, species die out with little interest or attention. While so many don’t realise it, this loss of biodiversity will ultimately rock the very foundations of human existence. Maybe this is an opportunity for us to rethink how we treat our planet and the flora and fauna that share our home, as equals neither lesser nor greater than us. We are all in it together, and any solutions should improve the quality of existence for all of us. The theme for this year's World Wildlife Day was "Sustaining all life on Earth". We should never forget our interconnectedness, and we do so at our peril.

This time of unease is a gentle reminder of how incredible it is that leopards in the Cape have managed to adapt where other large predators have failed. The leopard continues to survive on the fringes of urbanisation, navigating complex landscape changes and confronting increasing human-driven threats. It's certainly something to celebrate when things look bleak.

Despite the arrival of Covid-19, and since leopards don't understand lockdown, it's been a very busy six months. In our winter newsletter we share some highlights from the first half of the year – click here to read the rest of the mailer.

Acceptable trapping techniques

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

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