Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Book now: Learn how to farm alongside predators

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The Cape Leopard Trust, in partnership with experts from the Herding Academy and CapeNature, will soon host a series of workshops to explore holistic field management and sustainable farming in harmony with predators. The three full-day workshops will aim to promote predator conflict mitigation and farm management methods that protect nature, benefit farmers and enhance food security.

Why such a workshop series?

The leopard is the last large predator and the last of the Big 5 to still roam freely in the Western Cape. Although leopards prefer to consume natural prey, on occasion they will opportunistically hunt livestock, causing significant economic damage.

Farming alongside predators is one of many challenges faced by farmers, together with drought and extreme weather. The Farming with Nature workshop series demonstrates to commercial farmers who want to farm with nature that it is not only possible, but also advantageous to improve resilience and enhance productivity.

The holistic management techniques presented in the workshops will not only benefit individual farmers, but also the Western Cape’s globally relevant fauna and flora. As the apex predator in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, the leopard is an important control mechanism in ecosystem health. By holistically interacting with the natural environment, this course hopes to reduce human-wildlife conflict, thereby conserving leopards and ecosystems. Additionally, by farming for biodiversity and considering the farm as part of the entire ecological system, the impact of drought may be mitigated, and the long-term sustainability of the farming system enhanced.

What you should know about the workshops

All three workshops will be run between August and October 2022 at two Western Cape locations – Montagu Country Hotel and Langgewens Research Farm between Malmesbury and Moorreesburg. Participants are encouraged to attend the entire workshop series to maximise learning, but it is also possible to attend individual days. Workshop attendance can be booked through the Cape Leopard Trust online shop at R200 per full-day workshop session (or R550 for all three days). Workshop days run from 09:00 to 16:00 and include lunch.

Workshop 1: Holistic drought management

Presented in partnership with the Herding Academy, this session will explore methods to improve field productivity during drought, including the use of grazing plans.

  • 2 August 2022, Montagu Country Hotel.
  • 4 August 2022, Langgewens Experimental Farm.

Workshop 2: Holistic predation management

Presented in partnership with CapeNature, topics will include predator behavioural ecology, conflict mitigation methods and carcass identification.

  • 7 September 2022, Montagu Country Hotel.
  • 21 September 2022, Langgewens Experimental Farm.

Workshop 3: Applied holistic agro-ecological management

The session will explore agricultural ecology principles and support farmers to practically apply these principles to their individual farming setup.

  • 5 October 2022, Langgewens Experimental Farm.
  • 19 October 2022, Montagu Country Hotel.

For any enquiries, Chavoux Luyt at communityoutreach@capeleopard.org.za or send a WhatsApp to 082 791 1384. –Press release, Cape Leopard Trust

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