Movement patterns and activity of desert-adapted lions in Namibia - March 2009

Introduction
Results
> Sampling
> Activity Patterns
> Distances
> Home Ranges
> Movement Patterns

There are three main factors that is believed to influence the movements of desert-adapted lions of the northern Namib: a) prey availability, b) the interaction between habitat and prey availability, and c) inter-specific social interactions. Since the distribution of prey animals, in a heterogeneous habitat, is a function of patchy and unpredictable rainfall, it is to be expected that the movement patterns of lions will not be uniform.

The large sample sizes and quality of the data collected by the GPS radio collars, provided an opportunity to look at the movement patterns of six lions (3 males & 3 females) within their home range. Using GIS software it was possible to calculate the centre-point (CP) of a lion’s home range. This point does not necessarily fall in the centre of the home range (due to the heterogeneity of the habitat), but represents the part of the range that the lion visits most often. The movement patterns of the six lions were thus evaluated in relation to the CP, as the reference-point.

Since lions are nocturnal, one day-time (resting) location was selected for each lion, and the average distance from the CP was calculated for the period of observation (Table 3). The range of distances from the CPs for all six lions was large.

Table 3. Average distances from the centre-point (CP) of their respective home ranges of eight lions fitted with GPS radio collars in the northern Namib (Males / Females).

By plotting the actual distance from the CP during sequential days for the observation period of each lion (Figures 15 – 20), the fluctuations as they move towards and away from the CP, are demonstrated.

Figure 15. Daily distances of Xpl-3 (male) from the centre-point (CP) of his home range.
Figure 16. Daily distances of Xpl-16 (male) from the centre-point (CP) of his home range.
Figure 17. Daily distances of Xpl-44 (male) from the centre-point (CP) of his home range.
Figure 18. Daily distances of Xpl-17 (female) from the centre-point (CP) of her home range.
Figure 19. Daily distances of Xpl-18 (female) from the centre-point (CP) of her home range.
Figure 20. Daily distances of Xpl-47 (female) from the centre-point (CP) of her home range.

>>>Time Frequencies
>>>Spider Analysis
>>>Circular Statistics
>>>Quarter Degree Squares