OverviewThe Tale of 2 Leopards
The Tale of Two Leopards
In the Western Cape, and across South Africa, the challenges to conservation are complex. To effectively address these challenges, conservation efforts need to be multi-dimensional, involve diverse role players, and span land-use types. It is this holistic approach that inspired an exciting collaboration called “The Tale of Two Leopards” – a multifaceted partnership project that focuses on two iconic species in the Overberg region, the leopard and the Western Leopard Toad (WLT). It is driven by the Cape Leopard Trust and Endangered Wildlife Trust, in collaboration with local environmental organisations.
Of Leopards and Toads
The presence of these two ‘leopards’ in the Overberg gives us the opportunity to look at landscape resilience through an ecological lens. The leopard is an umbrella species and ‘top down’ indicator of ecosystem health, and the Western Leopard Toad is the foundation level or ‘bottom up’ counter measure. As such, these key species can be used to support the integrity of the area’s biodiversity by acting as important indicators of climate change, habitat integrity and landscape connectivity.
Parallels Between the Two
Although one is a mammal and the other an amphibian, these two species have a considerable amount in common:
- Both are icons of the Cape region
- Survival is threatened by similar factors, including agricultural and urban development, roads and traffic
- Individuals can be identified by unique patterns
- Both are size-related anomalies; WLTs are large for their group and leopards in the Cape are small
- Both species are important predators, playing a critical role in ecosystem function
- Both represent important Fynbos and Thicket habitats
Two Leopards Wine
The Tale of Two Leopards project is proudly supported by LOST BOY Wines, in the form of two unique, limited-edition wines crafted specially for this cause. In the red – a blend of Merlot and Shiraz – two very contrasting cultivars come together to bring out the more elegant sides of each. The white, an elegant yet vibrant blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, is driven by layers of stone fruit held together by an intriguing minerality.
A donation is kindly made to the project by LOST BOY Wines for every bottle of wine sold.
To read more about leopards, Western Leopard Toads, the project goals and outcomes, go to bit.ly/To2LIntro
Cape Leopard Trust website: capeleopard.org.za
Endangered Wildlife Trust website: ewt.org.za