Leopard Aging Guide

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by AfricaHunting.com, May 18, 2011.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Guy Balme from the Lion Program contacted me to see if AH members would like to participate in the Leopard Aging Guide test that he has put together... Further information can be found in his email to me below.

    Attached to this post, you will find both the Leopard Aging Test as a pdf file and the Leopard Aging Test Sheet as a jpg image. Results can be emailed directly to Guy at his email address gbalme@panthera.org.

    Hope that some of you will participate...


    Hi Jerome,

    Several hunters suggested I contact you. I'm trying to compile a leopard aging guide for hunters similar to the one that Karyl Whitman & Craig Packer produced for lions. I don't believe age-based regulations are as applicable for leopards (given they much harder to age & the threshold over which hunting has little affect appears that much older) but I still think it's important that we encourage & assist hunters to target older males.

    I’ve finally managed to collate enough material from known-aged leopards in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa to produce the guide. However, before it’s distributed, I’d like to run a short test to assess the accuracy of aging & sexing leopards from photographs. I realise this is v different from doing it in the field but I still believe it's a worthwhile exercise. It will hopefully demonstrate which age classes are more difficult to distinguish, the most suitable photos to use (facial, side profile, or a combination of both), regional variation, etc. As many leopard hunters now use camera-traps to judge trophy quality, it will at the v least provide information on how best to deploy cameras & appraise pictures.

    The test is split into 3 sections - sexing leopards only (no aging component), aging male leopards using individual photographs, & aging male leopards using paired photos. All of the pictures are of known-aged individuals but I have used 4 age categories for test: 0-2 yrs, 2-4 yrs, 4-7 yrs, >7 yrs. These make the most practical & biological sense. Again, I know there are marked regional differences in the size & appearance of leopards but some of the aging cues are applicable across their range.

    Is there any chance you can post the test on AfricaHunting.com. To make this work, we need a sizeable sample. It only takes 15 min or so & I’m sure most hunters will find it interesting. They can respond directly to me at gbalme@panthera.org. I will send them their results (which will be kept strictly confidential) as soon as I receive the completed answer sheet.

    Thanks v much.

    Best,
    Guy

    Guy Balme, PhD
    Director
    Lion Program
    PANTHERA
    Tel. +27 21 680 5148
    Mobile. +27 82 694 3083
    Fax. +27 21 680 5011
    gbalme@panthera.org
    www.panthera.org

    Attached Files:

  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Here is a bit more info from Guy...


    Hi Jerome,

    The Leopard Aging Guide will be free of charge. They will be distributed through the local authorities to PHs/outfitters with their successful hunt applications next year (for all southern & East African countries) & at national hunting association meetings. I’ll also be attending the conventions in the US to facilitate further distribution.

    Once published, you more than welcome to post Leopard Aging Guide on AfricaHunting.com. It’s meant as a tool that can assist hunters to target more suitable trophy leopards so the easier it is to access, the better!

    Pls let me know if you have any further queries.

    Kind regards,
    Guy

    Guy Balme, PhD
    Director
    Lion Program
    PANTHERA
    Tel. +27 21 680 5148
    Mobile. +27 82 694 3083
    Fax. +27 21 680 5011
    gbalme@panthera.org
    www.panthera.org
    [/I]
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I'm in. I can find out just what I don't know. It will certainly help the research.
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Well, who knows how I did. It is straight forward to complete. I only have Cougar and dog experience to go off of. The results should be interesting.
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Well, Guy just sent my results back.

    59 percent;. "Well above average".

    This is how I get to lie with statistics. Most scores, thus far, have been very low.
    So, if you can take a few minutes help his study out.

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