SPOT SNAP SUBMIT Lucky Leopard Competition!

SPOT SNAP SUBMIT Lucky Leopard Competition!
Published: 07 March 2022

The Cape Leopard Trust Western Cape leopard database collects information on leopard activity and threats to leopards from across the province. Eagle-eyed citizen scientists have shared hundreds of records already! (see project background below).

Over the next couple of months, the CLT hopes to obtain as many records as possible – especially from 3 regions for which data points are still quite sparse. Until mid-April, we are hosting a competition with 5 awesome prizes up for grabs to motivate citizen scientists like you to share your leopard records. The prizes will be awarded in the following categories: 

  • Best leopard camera trap photo from the Western Cape
  • Most data submissions during the competition period
  • Records from the southern Namaqualand – lucky draw
  • Records from the southern Cape – lucky draw
  • Records from the central Karoo – lucky draw

What exactly are we looking for?

We are seeking all verifiable observations of leopards, their signs, and threats to leopards across the Western Cape from 2010 onwards.

Leopard sighting records can consist of camera trap photos, leopard signs (i.e. spoor/tracks, scats/droppings, scratch marks on trees, feeding sites) and direct leopard observations (i.e. visual sightings). Examples of potential threats to leopards include traps (gin traps or cages), the use of poison, leopard roadkill, and livestock depredation events attributed to leopards.

We need a photo, date as well as a location point for each record.

The three focal regions are:

  • Southern Namaqualand: the Matzikama local municipality and reaching across the provincial border into the Kamiesberg & Hantam municipalities of the Northern Cape
  • Southern Cape: particularly the Hessequa local municipality
  • Central Karoo: the central Karoo district municipality including Beaufort West; Laingsburg & Prins Albert local municipalities

How to submit your records and enter the competition:

Go to app.capeleopard.org.za and follow the steps to create an account. 

Each data point must be inputted individually to the online portal, so if you have multiple observations to share or prefer to contribute via email, please contact [email protected] 

Competition rules and terms:

  • The winner from each of the regional categories will be drawn from the list of individuals who submit a record during March until 20 April
  • The winner from the Best Camera Trap photo category will be chosen by our CLT ambassadors
  • To be eligible to win a prize, records must be verified as leopard by our team and the record has to be from the Western Cape
  • Individuals who prefer to submit records via email (rather than via the online portal) in their personal capacity are eligible, but not representatives of organisations.
  • Entries are open to anyone residing within South Africa and aged 18 or above
  • Entries close on 20 April 2021 at midnight, and the winners will be announced by early May via email and on the CLT social media channels.

Background about the CLT Western Cape leopard database project and online data portal

The Big Five and other large animals once roamed the valleys and plains of the Cape region. Only the leopard has managed to persist, largely due to its adaptable and versatile nature, and still roams free in the wild regions of the Western Cape. However, the species faces multiple threats, including limited and fragmented habitat, reduction in prey numbers and high levels of conflict with people. The Cape Leopard Trust has embarked on a mission to create a consolidated database of leopard distribution and threats to leopards in the Western Cape province. This database will contribute towards a leopard habitat suitability assessment and identifying ecological corridors for leopards in the region.

Leopards are nocturnal, solitary animals whose excellent camouflage and secretive nature often means that their presence in an area can go largely undetected. In a bid to centralise leopard presence data we have created an online data portal for citizen scientists to upload their leopard observations and contribute to our database. Within our online “Leopard Data Portal” (app.capeleopard.org.za) you can submit your data to one of three purpose-built platforms, namely “Leopard Spotter”, “Threat Tracker” and “Snare Aware”. The data portal is both desktop and mobile-friendly. Being a web-based application, it is compatible with various operating systems and doesn’t need to be downloaded to your mobile device. Just save the link to your phone’s home screen and use it as an app. Submitted data is confidential, anonymized, and stored securely.

Acceptable trapping techniques

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

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