Sharing knowledge and developing skills

Published: 18 December 2019

Over the past 15 years, our Cape Leopard Trust team has amassed a wealth of research experience, particularly monitoring elusive wildlife using remote-sensing field cameras. Camera traps is one of our most important conservation tools. Non-invasive and affordable, they provide an abundance of data that can be used for wildlife research and management. With camera traps becoming more and more accessible, it is important to also impart knowledge on how to use the information gleaned from such cameras for maximum conservation impact.

This seemed like an ideal motivation to partner with Wilderness Foundation Africa as well as the Zoological Society of London to host a workshop focused on camera trap data analyses. The workshop was led by one of ZSL’s senior wildlife biologists, Dr Raj Amin, who is also the CLT’s technical advisor. With 30 years of research experience, Dr Amin has infinite and intimate knowledge of analysing data from countless camera surveys all over the world, and he has been at the forefront of developing a software tool specifically for dealing with camera data. It was a privilege to share his insights and learn from him, and it was also a great opportunity to build skills in the broader conservation community.

The four-day workshop was held outside Stellenbosch during the last week of November 2019. We hosted 19 participants including field managers, researchers and university faculty staff along with our own team. Along with CLT and WFA, the following organisations from across South Africa were represented at the workshop: CapeNature, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, South African Wildlife College, Grootbos Foundation, the WildTrust, Wildlife Act and Endangered Wildlife Trust (via a Zoom presentation). We sincerely thank Dr Amin for donating his expertise, and all being well we hope to offer a similar workshop in 2020.