The Cape Leopard Trust - Using research as a tool for conservation & finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict

What is a problem animal?

This inappropriate title is applied to a damage-causing animal, especially in cases of livestock depredation. The culprit (often misidentified on an individual or even species basis) is a wild animal doing what it is programmed to do – survive. In some cases leopards, caracals and jackals will prey on unattended and vulnerable livestock. It is expected of predators to kill.

From the Cape Leopard Trust’s standpoint, we prefer to work with farmers to pre-empt these conflict situations by applying alternative livestock management practices. Given that different areas present different challenges, it does take time and a certain amount of experimentation to find sustainable working solutions. In many instances though, the simple solution from the farmer’s perspective is to eliminate the problem.

And herein lies a particular conundrum that livestock farmers often find difficult to understand. It is an established fact that in many cases the removal (killing or relocation) of an individual predator may in fact exacerbate the problem at hand. In fact, a farmer’s resident predators can be his best ally (provided he manages his stock properly), because dominant territorial predators actually prevent outsiders and (sometimes) other predators from entering and operating in their territories. Once again, our research shows that in areas where a dominant predator prevails, and where such an animal has not developed a stock habit, there is the lowest incidence of predation because other more opportune predators are limited territorially. Stable predator population densities should be lower and more manageable than ones where predators are persecuted.

To read one of the Cape Leopard Trust’s case studies on ‘problem animals’, click here.

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

  • Leopard hit by car in Bainskloof - Death of BM30

    Leopard hit by car in Bainskloof - Death of BM30

    On Thursday 16 Feb 2017, a leopard was hit by a car in Bainskloof Pass near Wellington. The animal sustained severe injuries, including a broken back as well as internal trauma, and sadly had to be put down. The Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project was notified of the incident by partner organisation CapeNature,…
    Written on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:39
  • 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

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