On the 11th June we ran a workshop in Buysdorp, a small community tucked away in the heart of the Soutpansberg Mountains. The workshop targeted livestock farmers and was aimed at developing skills and knowledge with regards to livestock husbandry practices, pasture management and the prevention of livestock depredation.
Dr Sam Williams, previous Research Coordinator for the Primate and Predator Project, spoke about the recent fate of the local leopard population. Dr Williams has been monitoring the population trends of leopards here in the Soutpansberg Mountains for the past 5 years, and has found that they have sadly declined by more than 60% during that time. This is why workshops such as this are so important. Philip Faure, Community Engagement Officer for the Primate and Predator Project, discussed methods to minimise depredation on livestock by wild carnivores such as leopard, jackal, and caracal. The workshop tied in with the Living in Harmony theme of sustainable wildlife practices and human-wildlife coexistence, and was intended to help lessen human-wildlife conflict through skills development, environmental education and raising awareness for a declining leopard population in the Soutpansberg Mountains.
We ended the workshop with a braai and had some boerewors rolls and cool drinks together.