AST South Africa adopted the Leopard Conservation Project as their leading “cause” in Southern Africa in 2009.
Conservation has always been a priority for the staff of AST South Africa and the Leopard Conservation Project has become not only a corporate, but a personal goal for the staff helping to support the project.
What is the Leopard Conservation Project? The Leopard Conservation Project, established in 2000, was registered as a non-profit, section 21 company in 2007. The primary focus of the project has been to protect leopards from poaching, poisoning, trapping and being over-hunted. In recent years however, the focus has shifted to include the collection of population data and territory size as well as information on the genetic relationship and diversity of the leopard community within different regions of the country.
About the 2010 Census? With the heightened focus on South Africa during the FIFA World Cup, and with a little help from Zakumi, the tournament's leopard mascot, the Leopard Conservation Project are hoping to maximize their exposure and use the opportunity to conduct a Leopard Census. South Africans and foreign visitors alike will be asked to participate in the survey to help the LCP to determine how many leopards remain within South Africa today.
This initiative could well prove to be one of the most important projects ever undertaken to help save this species.
Aims and Objectives of the Census. Little is known about the population of leopard in Southern Africa. Due to their elusive nature, ability to adapt to almost any environment, and in some instances vast territories, estimates are sketchy.
What is the census trying to establish?
- Population and territory sizes in specific regions
- Photographic database of individuals
- Prey preference in specific areas
- Infant growth and mortality rates
- Male to female ratios in specific areas
- Mature to sub-adult ratios
The LCP cannot make the project a success without help. If you would like more information or to discuss any other offers of assistance you may have, please feel free to contact us and we will pass on your information through to them.
What is involved for the public? It’s a simple concept, report all leopard sightings to the LCP, clearly stating where and when the animal was seen.
The publicity surrounding the Census will include leaflets all over South Africa telling the public where they can send photos, GPS coordinates or any other information on leopard sightings. The more detailed the information captured is, the more useful it will be to the LCP when analysed. Analysis and collation of data comes at a cost, funding is appreciated and much needed. Any amount donated is put to the very best use to help save these amazing, beautiful native creatures.
How is AST South Africa involved? AST South Africa has made a number of Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro satellite handsets available for the Census Project. These handsets will enable the Leopard Conservation Project staff to stay in contact with base-camp during their operations. AST South Africa is also donating US$5 per IsatPhone Pro sold to the farming and commercial markets in South Africa to the Leopard Conservation Project.
For more information on the project please visit http://www.leopardcon.co.za