I arrived in the wild, rough and magical Cederbergs on March, 10th 2012, after spending some days at the University of Cape Town. The place I’m staying at is a remote paradise in the heart of the mountains. At this time of the year, the weather is hot and dry with a lot of dust, but the night skies are so clear that you feel like you can see all the stars of the universe.
I am mainly based at the Cape Leopard Trust office in Matjiesriver Nature Reserve, that was established in 1995 with assistance from WWF South Africa. But the study area is so big that I am also moving all around to get better access to the traps we’re setting up to catch Cape leopards and caracals. Indeed, it is extremely important to check the traps very often so if a feline (or another animal but bycatches are rare) get caught, we can rapidly take all the measurements we need for the study and release him/her with a GPS collar.
I would like to take the opportunity of this first post for thanking the artist Rexanne Chadwick. Rexanne allowed me to use her beautiful caracal charcoal drawing on my website so you can all see what a caracal look like (I will also add some pictures to this blog later on). Thank you Rexanne and keep it up!!
Charcoal drawing of a caracal by Rexanne Chadwick
For those of you interested in seeing what a caracal and/or a Cape leopard capture looks like, check out this blog very often because the capture season has started! I will also explain why we capture these wild cats and the trapping methods we’re using here in the Cederbergs.
I hope to see you soon on my blog!