MISSION  39 of  2010

Name of Mission: Leopard Tracking 02 of 2010 for the Landmark Foundation
Date of Mission: 21 November 2010         
Aircraft used: Kitfox Series 7       
Pilot: Etienne Oosthuizen                      
Beneficiary: Jeannine McManus

Objective of the Flight

Our objective was to download GPS data from two collared leopards, as part of a population dynamics study.

Beneficiary’s story of the mission        By  Jeannine McManus

On 21st November 2010 the Landmark Foundation, with assistance from Etienne Oosthuizen, a volunteer pilot with The Bateleurs, set out from Zandvlakte in the Baviaanskloof headed for Cockscomb.  Approaching the  Groot River we moved north until the VHF beeps grew stronger and stronger – and within the first 30 minutes of the missions we had located the female leopard and downloaded all her GPS data.

The weather was not ideal for flying and cloud cover restricted our movements toward the south and east of the Groot River. We climbed up to 11 000 ft to move over t02he clouds, but still the peaks were too large for us to move around. We got faint audio signals from the collar on the male leopard, but he was just too far east to be able to download his data.  After and hour and a half we moved back to the Baviaanskloof and en route flew over a large herd of buffalo and zebra. The rain had brought much relief to the area and it was a beautiful sight flying over the Baviaanskloof Mountains.

Our objective was met – we were able to download data from one of the two collared leopards in the area.