Leopard Research - Conservation Camera Traps

by The African Impact Foundation
Leopard Research - Conservation Camera Traps
Leopard Research - Conservation Camera Traps
Leopard Research - Conservation Camera Traps
Leopard Research - Conservation Camera Traps

In 2019 alone, we were able to achieve more than we thought was possible and that was solely due to generous donors like yourself. 

From January 2019-June 2019, we were able to capture and tag 94,572 photos from our camera traps spread across Greater Kruger reserves. Of those photos, 512 were photos of large predators, 29 of leopards, and 957 of nocturnal and/or elusive species. All of this information is captured, analyzed and then provided to nearby research teams and organizations whose aim is to preserve these animals and their natural habitats. 

Without the camera traps which have been purchased from your donations, we would not have been able to capture all of this really important data. In May, we were able to purchase 10 additional camera traps and associated materials. 

In return, the team has decided to spread our impact past leopards and start to really focus on nocturnal and elusive species in the Greater Kruger Area. There are so many nocturnal and elusive species that are not getting enough attention and it is time we really focus on these secretive animals to preserve their habitats. Many of these species are highly understudied yet their populations are at serious risk, and bening able to use camera traps to undertake sutdies on these animals could be crucial in providing information to contribute at a larger scale to conservation iniatives. 

Consequently, we have opened two new Global Giving pages which provide different opportunities to support the continued research.

The first page allows you to donate any amount and will go towards purchasing camera traps: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/greater-kruger-conservation-research/

The second page allows you to become part of the Adopt a Camera Trap program if you donate towards a camera trap kit ($315) and will then receive a gift pack, quarterly updates, animal fact sheets, letter of thanks and become a lifetime adopter: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/adopt-a-camera-trap-greater-kruger-south-africa/

We are so thankful for all of your continued support and are so excited to report back in another 6 months how much we were able to achieve. Be sure to follow one of the links above for more regular reports!

Links:

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Since January, our camera traps have continued to contribute to valuable research furthering conservation solutions. Since January, our volunteers have tagged 39,857 pictures, of which 17 are leopards. 364 are of other large predators (hyena, jackals, lion, serval) and 301 of nocturnal animals such as civet, genet, honey badger, porcupine, and white-tailed mongoose.

While learning anti-poaching techniques from rangers, our volunteers also conduct regular snare sweeps, removing 12 traps in total since January. This is a great sign, as the number of snare traps we find in sweeps are decreasing. Snares are an unfortunately common and a cheap form of poaching, consisting of looping a wire which tightens around an animal as it tries to escape. Our snare sweeps will hopefully prevent future poaching in those areas as well. We’re also happy to report that all the camera traps that we had placed in the field at the start of the quarter are still up and fully operational!

Thanks to all those who donate to our project. Your donations are making a difference and playing a huge role in supporting our research and conservation efforts.

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Our camera traps which have been purchased due to donations have been making such a great impact. The volunteers tagged 9554 pictures during the month of October, 11 of these pictures were leopards! 41 were other large predators and 429 were of civet, genet, honey badger and white tailed mongoose. From this 12 leopard ID kits were updated and created by volunteers.

Even better news, since the start of 2015 we have been able to identify 41 different leopards!

Moving beyond the camera traps, we continuously look out for the leopards and surrounding animals. Our volunteers participated in a snare sweep to do just this. Snares are a very common form of poaching because of how cheap and easy they are for the poachers to use. They consist of a loop of wire which pulls tighter around an animal the more it tries to escape. Our volunteers managed to work with an anti-poaching unit to remove 23 snare from a nearby reserve! Not only will those snares not be able to capture any animals now, but hopefully it will deter the poachers from using that area again as well!

We wanted to send a big thank you to those who have donated to our projects! This project is making a huge impact and as the Kruger team explains: “Our Camera traps play a very large role in our leopard studies. It is very exciting when our camera traps get a clear photo of a leopard that makes it easy to identify the individual, and even more exciting when a camera trap captures a clear photo of both sides of a leopard which is what happened with this beautiful young female.”

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We are expanding the leopard project! Currently we have 16,764 pictures tagged for the month of June and were able to complete eight leopard ID kits. This allowed us to identify, observe and analyze data for eight members of the leopard population. 

In regards to the expansion, we currently have four properties and we are hoping to expand to seven properties with twenty-three camera traps. This will allow us to cover 6,000 hectres. Additionally, we have removed five snares from a neighbors property as these snares could have caught leopards and could cause life threatening injuries. 

We will be keeping in touch about the expansion and the increased amount of data which we will receive! Thank you again for all your amazing support and keep in touch!

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In the last year we were able to track an additional seven different species, beyond the leopard research. There were 1,250 camera trap photos taken which helps us with further observation and analysis of the leopards and these seven species. These seven species include the black-baked Jackal, civet, genet, honey badger, lion, spotted hyena, and white-tailed mongoose.

 Additionally, from these camera traps were able solicit the most prominent animal from our data is the black-baked jackal with 23.7% visibility, with the civet coming in second with 15.2% visibility. We saw an intense increase in leopard visibility during the months of August and December with an overall visibility of 10.6%. With having this accurate data it helps us prepare better for human wildlife conflict and the understand of leopard movement.

We have great plans for 2018 to get involved with day data collection kit, data entry kit and night data kit. Be on the lookout for more updates on both African Impact Foundation and African Impact – South Africa Conservation project Facebook page. Thank you to all our amazing donors!

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Organization Information

The African Impact Foundation

Location: Muizenberg, Western Cape - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Michelle Procter
Noordhoek, Western Cape South Africa

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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