Monthly Archives: February 2017

Call to Action – Please share! Please drive cautiously in mountainous areas! Leopard hit by car in Bainskloof – Death of BM30

On Thursday 16 Feb 2017, a leopard was hit by a car in Bainskloof Pass near Wellington. The animal sustained severe injuries, including a broken back as well as internal trauma, and sadly had to be put down.

The Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project was notified of the incident by partner organisation CapeNature, and a CLT researcher inspected the carcass to take various morphometric measurements and some samples.

The leopard was a beautiful and healthy adult male. He was known to us from camera trap photos as a territorial male in the larger Bainskloof area, and was referred to as BM30 (Boland Male #30). He was quite large for a fynbos leopard, weighing in at 37kg and was estimated to be around 5 years old. Although the loss of such a magnificent animal is extremely unfortunate and certainly undesirable, the local leopard population is healthy. BM30’s home range will most likely be taken over by a strong young male who had been waiting for an opportunity to hold a territory.

Leopards being hit and killed by vehicles is fortunately not a regular occurrence in the Western Cape. However we would like to draw attention to the possibility that it can – and does – happen, and every time it does it is an unnecessary loss of life. Almost all incidents happen at night, on mountain passes and roads going through mountainous terrain. Leopards have been hit by vehicles on Piekenierskloof pass south of Citrusdal, Michell’s Pass outside Ceres, Bainskloof, the N1 through Du Toitskloof, Franschhoek pass and on the R44 coastal road between Gordons Bay and Rooiels. We would like to extend a call to action to all motorists using these roads to please exercise caution and drive slowly – not only for the sake of leopards, but also their prey and other small carnivores. Countless mammals get run over by cars on the roads leading through and around the mountains every day. Caracal, mongoose, genet, polecat, honey badger, porcupine, rabbit, hare, dassie, etc – all fall victim to reckless driving and speeding on our roads.

We ask that you share this widely and encourage everyone you know to take a moment to consider the wildlife which often has no choice but the use the roads that now traverse their fynbos habitat.

Photo caption:
A camera trap photo of BM30, taken between Eerste and Tweede Tol in Bainskloof.
Insert: a photo taken soon after the accident by a passer-by.

Shareable weblink: http://bit.ly/BM30Bains

Black-footed Cat Conservation

Our black-footed cat female Diva once had a litter of three kittens, with on this picture little Boy. Daddy was our late male Blacky. Of course we hope for a repeat now with our new male Spotty.
Having worked with/for the species for years now, we know the many difficulties and the challenges. Despite that, this conservationproject for the smallest catspecies of South Africa, second smallest of the world, is at all time very essential.
The WCW black footed cats are of course officially registered in the South African studbook. In our project we are working with all kinds of organisations sharing info and facts, and giving education on different levels! Releasing is the mission in all our breeding programs but as for the BFC it is most essential first to indeed successfully breed, meaning all kittens grow up raised by their mothers in a healthy way until adulthood, to be self sustaining for many years to come after that, hopefully when time is right back into the wild.

African wildcat male Max, 13/09/2013 – 18/02/2017 †

“Best thing to show you my love, was to let you go!!!”
Another (young) victim to the horrible kidney failure. R.i.p. dear daddy Max, we will miss you terribly.

We are grateful what you meant to us and you were an incredible ambassador to your species, leaving a legacy of 2 pretty daughters and 1 handsome son, and your female Louise who will miss you a lot, already is.

Your spirit will always be with us my boy, and with every mouse or rat we feed your family you will be in our thoughts.

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Black footed cats convervation project

WCW started this conservation project on the DCP farm in Spotted Cats Conservation, with three wild black-footed cats, Beauty, Blacky and Footy. All three cats were injured by traps and could not be released into the wild. They were given a great home as well as the necessary treatment by the vet.
In late 2013 we decided to relocate the cats to the Cat Conservation Trust (CCT) as part of a new working alliance that adds more knowledge and expertise to make the project even more successful. Also, our captive born female Diva could join Blacky & Beauty as a start of a breeding program with this very endangered species.

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