Wildlife & Ecosystems

Conserving Leopards and Monkeys in South Africa

Help gather critical information to protect leopards and monkeys under threat in South Africa.

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Help provide the data that will create new ways to address negative perceptions about these animals in the surrounding human communities.

With your help, Earthwatch researchers will improve relations between local human communities and the flagship wildlife of the region.

Mountainous environments are becoming increasingly important as conservation refuges for many mammalian species in South Africa, especially in the face of growing pressures from farming and other commercial activities. These and other changes in the use of mountainous lands, along with government land reforms, pose heightened risks to the conservation potential of these regions. In addition, farmers and ranchers tend to think of leopards and brown hyenas as major killers of their livestock, even though data from this project have shown that livestock rarely features in the diets of these carnivores. Landowners even more commonly cite baboons as a major pest species.

You'll assist scientists conducting research in three critical areas: investigating the presence and diversity of important species, assessing the extent of human–wildlife conflict and investigating possible mitigation strategies, and increasing environmental awareness in local communities.

Wild leopard photographed by a camera trap

Farmers tend to think of leopards as major killers of their livestock.

By helping monitor the region's predator populations, you can help the scientists ensure that human activities don't put these populations at risk, and provide data that will help create new ways to address negative perceptions about these animals in the surrounding communities.

About the research area

Polokwane, South Africa, Africa

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:



The Scientists


Professor, Department of Anthropology, Durham University

ABOUT Russell Hill

Earthwatch scientist Russell Hill explores human–wildlife interactions in South Africa, where he runs the Primate and Predator Project at the Lajuma Research Centre.



Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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