Avis Car Rental contributes to leopard conservation
Under threat from uninformed farmers as well as from the usual dangers nature afflicts them to; the Cape Leopards are the main concern of the Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project. One of the main challenges of the Trust is being able to conduct the wide-ranging fieldwork and research required to monitor the animals, so when Avis Southern Africa decided to sponsor the Trust with a vehicle, it was a wish come true.
”The sponsorship is part of our long involvement with sponsoring environmental and wildlife projects,” says Avis Regional Manager, Western Cape, Riaan Schoeman. “So in providing the Toyota 4x4 Double Cab to the Cape Leopard Trust we are proud to be assisting the Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project in its cause to protect and conserve the Cape Leopard inhabitng the Boland Mountains.”
The vehicle will be used for an initial period of a year to assist in tracking leopards with the help of “camera traps”, digital cameras containing an infrared sensor triggered by motion and heat, used to capture images of animals moving in front of them. The Toyota 4x4 Double Cab, will make tracking considerably easier and will ensure that the leopards are protected and kept from harm.
The Cape Leopard Trust is a Non-Governmental and Public Benefit Organisation that is involved in innovative research, conservation and education projects established to facilitate and promote the conservation of biological diversity, with a focus on Cape Leopards (Panthera Ardus) as a flagship species.
The Trust’s primary aim is to determine whether the leopards of the Western Cape region should be considered as a unique genetic unit – a group of small leopards weighing up to half that of their northern cousins. At present, the leopard fills the role of apex predator in the Cederberg and the rest of the Western Cape; however, its conservation status remains uncertain. The species is regularly removed or exterminated from farms with little knowledge of population or genetic status, whether these removals are sustainable or whether the factors giving rise to conflict are established.
Dr Quinton Martins of the Cape Leopard Trust says he was overjoyed when he heard that Avis was going to be the main sponsor and was sponsoring a car. “The sponsorship is invaluable, since a good, reliable vehicle is one of the single most important requirements for the smooth running of such a project. We conduct extensive fieldwork and environmental education and the vehicle is a real eye-catcher that will further generate tremendous interest in and support of the Cape Leopard Trust efforts.”
In donating the Toyota 4x4 Double Cab, Avis has once again kept to the company’s powerful brand promise of “We Try Harder”.