Cape Leopard Trust shares snapshots of the Overberg’s big cats

Posted by David Henning on 8 April 2022

The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) Research team is thrilled to report that their large-scale survey of the Overberg was successfully completed in early 2022, with many surprises and amazing captures obtained from the camera grid.

Spanning an area of 2 400km² from Botvlei in the west to De Hoop vlei, the CLT surveyed between August 2021 and the end of January 2022 and was pleasantly surprised.

The team set up 86 paired camera stations along jeep tracks and hiking trails in the region through fynbos habitat, private nature reserves and national parks, and agriculture and gamekeeping properties.

After sifting through the images with the help of WildID, an online learning programme that semi-automates the process of identifying and labelling species (you can see the CLT case study on WildID here), at least 27 native wild mammal species were recorded.

These cameras snapped animals that the team is not used to seeing: a hippo from Nuwejaars Wetlands, Cape dune mole-rats, fallow deer and a vervet monkey (likely an escaped pet).

Encouragingly, the survey also recorded a widespread leopard presence, appearing at 50 of the 86 camera traps. With the help of pattern recognition software, CLT was able to confirm at least 24 adult leopards, and 7 juveniles from the 526 leopard photographs taken.

The team is now working to determine the leopard population density in the greater Overberg region. Below are some snapshots of some of the other animals from the recent Overberg survey.

Chacma baboon

Large-spotted genet



Vervet monkey


African wildcat



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