Gaps in data on leopard populations, densities and distribution have led to withheld quotas in RSA.
(Photo courtesy John J. Jackson, Conservation Force.)
By Justin Jones, Assistant Editor
The leopard research project we told you about in South Africa is moving forward. As reported in November (see Article 3906
), South Africa's private hunting and safari sector is funding a project to address gaps in the scientific data available on the status of leopards. The results will then help South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to establish a science-based sustainable leopard quota for the country. The study will be conducted by predator behavior specialist Dr. Nkabeng Maruping-Mzileni of the Tshwane University of Technology. The project was first conceived by the Limpopo Hunters Liaison Forum (LHLF) and is being funded by the Conservation Research Fund (CRF) administered by the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa (PHASA).
You'll recall the CRF was formed in response to a decision by South Africa's DEA to withhold the quota for leopard in 2016 and again in 2017 (see articles 3975
). The decisions were made despite a lack of data on leopard populations in South Africa. PHASA protested, noting that hunting offtake in South Africa fell well below the established CITES quota....