African Leopards and Communities with Letoluai Ambrose

In our 22nd Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas #ElephantProfessional lecture, we took a break from the elephants and invited Letoluai Ambrose to introduce the leopards in Kenya.

When Letoluai Ambrose and the team conducted a survey with local communities, they found that leopards topped lions and hyenas as the biggest carnivore concern among them. Fascinated, they began studying about leopards and the conflicts with the local communities.

They first set up camera traps throughout their study sites in Mpala and Loisaba to work out the population status of leopards, and finding out that there were approximately 12.4 leopards per 100 sq. kilometres.

Next, in order to improve co-existence between the local communities and the leopards, Ambrose and the team first set up a community reporting network in 2018. They received 850 conflict reports in the first year, many during nighttime, and with leopards being the culprit of 44% of all reports.

Set-up of the Boma Monitoring Study. Screenshot from Letoluai Ambrose’s lecture.

They then conducted a boma (= a livestock or community enclosure) monitoring study using cameras to identify the carnivore attacking the bomas.

Setting up the wire deterrent. Screenshot from Letoluai Ambrose’s lecture.

They are currently testing different deterrent methods, specifically light and wire deterrent, to minimize leopard-human conflicts.

A black leopard caught on the camera trap. Screenshot from Letoluai Ambrose’s lecture.

Knowing that there are still many unknowns in leopard ecology, they are planning to further their study in leopard ecology, including the genetic variance in black leopards, for example.

You can learn more about Letoluai Ambrose on his personal page here.

Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily represent Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.