Where do we plan to carry out the research?
In order to fully understand the impact of utilisation on the survival of the leopard, field work will be carried out in five different representative land-use areas in Zimbabwe. Leopards exist in many different land use areas but are used consumptively in:
- Safari areas (under the jurisdiction of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA),
- CAMPFIRE areas (under the jurisdiction of Rural District Councils),
- private wildlife areas (e.g. conservancies) and
- commercial wildlife and cattle ranches
However, to assess the impact of utilisation on survival, it is necessary to compare data with an area where leopards exist in a natural state, such as a National Park.
For both research and logistical reasons, our leopard research is focused on the following study areas (see map below):
A. Units 1 – 4 of the Matetsi Safari Area
B. The northern section of Hwange National Park
C. Tsholotsho CAMPFIRE area
D. The commercial and resettled farmland of the Gwanda/West Nicholson area
E. Bubye Valley Conservancy
X. In addition to the above, leopard spoor counts are being undertaken in a number of different areas throughout the country to work towards a national population estimate.