Leopards are solitary, nocturnal creatures that prefer to live in dense bush where their camouflage helps them to hide effectively. It is for these reasons, perhaps, that there is little information available regarding leopard populations and their current conservation status.
Once found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, the great cat’s range has declined dramatically in recent decades because of human intrusion, population growth, hunting, predation, disease, and other factors. The key to ensuring a future for leopards lies in gathering all pertinent information to create a comprehensive conservation action plan.
Led by researcher Nakedi Maputla, an African Wildlife Foundation Charlotte Fellow, the Limpopo Leopard Conservation Project studies the great cats and shapes conservation strategies to protect their populations and the habitats that support them. Through the use of camera traps and other techniques, the project documents leopard behavior and populations. It also provides further opportunities for African researchers and students to get involved in conservation—an initiative that will be critical to the long-term success of wildlife conservation in Africa.
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