Conservation kraal challenge – Cape Leopard Trust

The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) has announced a national competition to find designs for an affordable, safe, durable, portable, and predator-proof kraal (a coral or protective enclosure) to secure livestock. The initiative, dubbed ‘Mobi-kraal’, seeks to leverage creative input and expertise from a diverse pool of participants, aiming to support livestock farmers in South Africa and globally. The competition includes a generous prize for the winning design.

Why Mobi-kraal? In regions where agriculture intersects with wildlife habitats, predators may pose a considerable threat to farming operations. When wild prey is unavailable or livestock is accessible, predators opportunistically hunt livestock, sometimes causing significant economic damage to both subsistence and commercial farmers. Retaliation may follow, but the reduction or removal of predators is not a feasible or sustainable solution. Often, the most effective mitigation method is to secure livestock overnight when at their most vulnerable, but for many farmers a permanent structure is not a viable option.

After engaging with communities affected by leopard conflicts, the CLT recognised the need to design and rigorously test a mobile predator-proof kraal, with the aim of sharing a freely available blueprint for livestock farmers and conservation organisations worldwide to add to their depredation mitigation toolbox. The Mobi-kraal project was born from this need. The CLT is inviting applications from individuals and teams nationally who can apply their creativity and engineering know-how to provide a practical solution for farmers who suffer stock losses.

Competition details: The Conservation Kraal Challenge welcomes entries from 1 February to 30 June 2024. Participants stand a chance to win a cash prize of up to R50 000, as well as travel and accommodation costs valued at R20 000 to help the CLT develop, and field test their design.
The challenge is open to South African citizens or permanent residents of South Africa, who are 18 years or older. Entries will be accepted from individuals or teams of up to 5 people, from any discipline (engineering, agricultural and/or conservation experience is beneficial) and any degree of qualification, including students, professionals, and amateurs.