Finall call for the Leopard
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Official NO to leopard Conservation in South Africa, June 2017
Help us to say YES and state your opinion; please sign and share!!!!
“If things don’t change, we predict leopards will essentially disappear from many areas in South Africa by about 2020". (Samual Williams, a conservation biologist at Durham University). A census was done recently in both the Eastern, Western and Northern parts of South Africa: the Cape Mountains, Drakensberg, Soutpansberg/Limpopo Area all showed a dramatic decrease of numbers. Leopards were classified last year as “vulnerable” to extinction on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of endangered species, which tracks the survival status of animals and plants. So signs for the leopard are also far from good!!
We are supporting conservation of the leopard in many different ways since the start of our foundation (Wild Cats World) with main focus on the wild leopard and its natural habitat in not just South Africa but also Indonesia (Java), Nepal, India. Also we fight for better conditions for leopards in captivity that cannot be released anymore, setting example with our own sanctuary in the Eastern Cape. Here we also run a conservation project, working on releases of some young leopards in the (three) fantastic non-hunting Private Game Reserves in the Eastern Cape (Amakhala, Kariega and Shamwari). The Reserves were keen on releasing our leopards, and the leopards were ready. Only the Officials still had to decide about their future, and grant permits to the Reserves. Amakhala Game Reserve had another meeting with DEDEAT Officials in Port Elizabeth (june 2017), after we did hand in our managementplan and motivational letters, and though the signs were good, there was a dramatic turn of events for the species. They won't grant permits, based on no knowledge whatsoever. Also it became clear it indeed is easier in this country to get permits for capturing wild leopards, keeping leopards in captivity and breeding/trading them world-wide and hunting leopards, even though South African recently suspended trophy hunting of leopards - they think about withdrawing this and allowing males (in their Prime) to be hunted again. As we said decisions aren't made to support leopard conservation, but to gain as much money as possible and to keep the numbers of wild leopards (and any big predator for that matter - it is already not allowed to release captive lions and cheetah, which was confirmed again!!) as low as possible. Until....D-day, which is arriving sooner as we think, with this kind of attitude.
Reasons for declining permits to the Private Game Reserves:
1) they do not want to dilute the eastern cape gene pool with non -Eastern cape genetics. This they will not change their mind on.
2) they do not want to set a precedent which will allow any game reserve to apply for import permits for non-Eastern cape (captive) leopards.
They gave the option of building an enclosure and keeping the leopards in captivity, or to release them after sterilizing them so they cannot breed. This is the kind of conservation the Nature Conservation DEDEAT Officials say YES too!
By signing this petition you say YES to conservation of leopards in South Africa, say YES to the release of our leopards (experts like leopardman Fred Berrange also said there's nothing against a release we had in mind, as there's no such thing as the Eastern Cape genetics). The African leopard (Panthera pardus) used to roam freely through the whole of Africa once. Whether they occurred in the West, East or North had nothing to do with different subspecies. Their way of living caused the differences in looks, as it is with other species. The Cape Leopard also isn't a seperate subspecies! They only live in the Cape Mountains, close to Cape Town.
By signing this petition you say NO to the capturing and killing of wild leopards by farmers, NO to breeding in captivity for trade and exploit, NO to trophy hunting, and Canned Hunting of leopards.
Though at this meeting the Officials confirmed not to change their mind on this, we think it is good to have this petition to tell them the world doesn't agree to their decision. Also to raise awareness for the situation of the leopard; a species we love so dearly, and we cannot loose......they must be save in the wild, and well looked after when born in captivity and not being able to be released!!!
Leopard Population at risk - read here:
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