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last update: September 13, 2005

   Tracking leopards with GPS collars in South Africa
   Remote GPS fix data download via UHF communication link
k

by

Nicole & Quinton Martins

A GPS collar tracking project on leopards in South Africa

The leopard fills the role of the apex predator in the Western Cape ecosystem and acts as an “umbrella species” which will effectively help in the conservation of smaller, lower profile predators.

Its resilience to persecution notwithstanding, the leopard has suffered extensive range loss in the Cape and is now extinct in many areas of the province where it formerly occurred. The species is routinely and regularly removed from farms with little knowledge of population or genetic status, whether removals are sustainable or whether the factors giving rise to conflict are established. Today, the long-term persistence of leopard populations pivots on their densities within protected areas. Reliable population estimates of large carnivores are, therefore, essential for effective conservation management.

 

Houdini

The adult male leopard Houdini was trapped and fitted with a GPS collar with remote position data download at August 13, 2005. Until that day he killed already 14 sheep. We plan to track Houdini over one year, after that a remote drop off mechanism will separate the belts of the GPS collar.

Fig. 1: Quinton and staff darting the leopard Houdini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 2: Houdini tranquilised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 3: Quinton is tracking Houdini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First results

During the first 4 weeks after being collared.

 

Fig. 4 : Location points of Houdini, August, 13 - September 13, 2005

 

 

 

 

Author's address:

Nicole & Quinton Martins
 

The Cape Leopard Trust
P.O. Box 1118
Sun Valley
7985 Cape Town
South Africa                             capeleopard@hixnet.co.za

                                                      

                                                    

                                                        

 

 

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