The aims and objects include:
1. DETERMINATION OF THE POPULATION DENSITY AND IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUAL LEOPARDS ON THE RESERVE.
An attempt will be made to conduct a population census survey and determine the number of leopards on the reserve. The goal is to be able to identify each leopard individually, on the reserve and to further categorise into male / female, adult / sub adult / juvenile.
2. MOVEMENT PATTERNS OF LEOPARDS ON THE RESERVE.
It is the intention of the study (to be explained in more detail later) to monitor the movements of all leopards. With the assistance of neighbouring reserves, it is hoped to identify if animals remain on the reserve or if they move between neighbouring reserves, and furthermore try to identify what determines their movement patterns.
3. MATING HABITS.
In a similar research project conducted in Namibia over the past 8 years, certain mating trends and habits were identified to possibly exist. The Shelanti project aims to determine if the trends and habits remain the same for the leopards in the Shelanti reserve, while also trying to obtain more scientific data regarding the mating habits of leopards.
4. INTERACTION BETWEEN GENDERS.
By monitoring the movement of both genders and juveniles, it is hoped to better understand the family concept and interactions of the species in Limpopo. The project aims to also determine a leopard’s specific role within the population, and on the genetic diversity within that specific population. It is vital that not only the entire population be understood but that the behaviour of each individual is monitored and fully understood.
5. COMPARING DATA.
Various other projects and studies have been undertaken and completed in Limpopo and it is hoped to obtain more in depth data from the Shelanti project to be able to compare this data with the other data obtained on other leopard projects. The information obtained will be shared with the Panthera project.