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

Education and empowerment programmes

In addition to the "hard science" research component, the Cape Leopard Trust is also actively involved in the training and empowering of local community residents as well as working with farming communities to find ways to minimize depredation of livestock by the Cape's threatened and persecuted predator population. The objective of finding solutions for farmers who encounter problems with wildlife in their area includes encouraging the view that the tourism and conservation value of wildlife may in certain circumstances exceed the perceived threat to livestock.

With possibly 80% of South Africa's most threatened biodiversity occurring on private or community land, we recognise the fact that farmers and rural communities are integral to the protection of our natural heritage. It is therefore imperative that we are able to work on their land, so as to find solutions to the ongoing problems. Our experience in working proactively with rural communities and with farmers in many parts of the Western and Northern Cape proves that viable solutions can be implemented.

There are a number of effective and acceptable strategies that farmers can deploy to safeguard their stock and reduce losses. However, it takes time and considerable patience to change mindsets and convention – a process that is only achieved via incremental steps and lots of positive reinforcement. Our experience shows that solutions to farmer-predator conflict lie first and foremost in establishing successful partnerships with all stakeholders including farmers, statutory agencies (e.g. Cape Nature) and NGO's such as the Cape Leopard Trust – and that positive results are directly proportional to the levels of co-operation, patience, trust and mutual respect among all parties.

Human-wildlife problems will not be solved overnight, but we can attempt to reduce the number of animals being injured or killed injudiciously by having farmers use more humane methods of control, rather than poisons, snares and gin traps.

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

  • 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
  • CLT job opportunity: Cederberg project and research assistant

    CLT job opportunity: Cederberg project and research assistant

    The Cape Leopard Trust is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified person to assist the Cederberg Project and Research Manager. This position is based at the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, Cederberg Wilderness. Please read the attached vacancy notice carefully and note the closing date of 24 February 2017.
    Written on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 11:58

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