I wanted to give you a quick update while Nakedi is away: after a long time of not finding any leopards, and getting very discouraged, I was thrilled recently to get some great data on the leopards that use the concesson. A few of the camera traps at different times captured three different leopards--two males and a female. After encountering only tracks for the longest time, and wondering whether even these were just tricks of the eye, it was a great relief to see lepoards alive and well for the purposes of the project. The elephants of Kruger, though, are not so great for the project. They recently damaged two cameras beyond repair, and now we will have to find funds to buy more. Although we have succeeded in protecting the cameras from hyenas, we just haven’t yet been able to protect them from the big guy. We’ll just have to keep experimenting.
Nakedi is doing well at Oxford but is eager to get back to his leopards—I'll try to see if he can give us an update soon on what it's like to be out of the field for so long. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this photo of surely the most beautiful of the three leopards photographed recently.
Nakedi joined AWF in 2007, working in the Limpopo region, where he's from. Nakedi's initial work was focused on studying the great cats to shape conservation strategies to benefit communities he's known all his life. In 2014, Nakedi moved on from the Limpopo region, becoming AWF’s Congo landscape ecologist.
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