NEWS 2010


December 2010

19 Dec 2010. NOTICE - Website Changes. Field work has now been stopped. The Land Cruiser will receive a major service. During the following 2-3 weeks this website will undergo major structural changes. Over the past two years the site has grown substantially and the need for a total revamp is long overdue. As a result, the site might occasionally be "off-line", but this will be temporary. Active fieldwork, with a functional field vehicle and a more dynamic website, will hopefully resume in early January 2011.

17 Dec 2010. Hoanib lionesses with cubs. Efforts to continue with field work have failed because of vehicle problems. The Hoanib lionesses (Xpl-47 "Bianca" & Xpl-59) recently gave birth after mating with the Hunkap male ("Rosh", Xpl-73) in Sep 2010. The data received from the satellite GPS collar fitted to "Bianca" (Xpl-47) are providing valuable information on the movement patterns of lionesses with small cubs. An animation of the movements of Xpl-47 for the past 15 days is presented below (left), followed by an analysis of her movement patterns in relation to the cubs for the past 32 days (below, right).

Movement patterns of Xpl-47 in relation to her cubs
During a period of 32 days Xpl-47 visited her cubs every 4.1 days (n = 8), spending on average 2 days with them and 2.1 days away from them. In total, she was with the cubs for 48%, and away from them for 52%, of the time. When leaving the cubs, Xpl-47 was presumably hunting for food and returned to suckle and attend to the cubs. Over the 32-day period she moved 220.8 km, but 91% of that distance was travelled when away from her cubs. During the periods that Xpl-47 were with her cubs she moved an average of 1.9 km/day, but travelled significantly further when away from them and hunting for food (mean = 13.7 km/day).
With Cubs
No. of events
Average durations (days)
Range (days)
0.3 - 2.9
0.5 - 4.5
Total duration (days)
Average distance moved (km)
Range (km)
0.3 - 5.5
8.7 - 42.9
Total distance moved (km)

14 Dec 2010. Successful Swakopmund Talk. The presentation on the Desert Lion Project held at the Namib High School in Swakopmund on 4 Dec 2010 was a success. The event was arranged by Annegret & Peter Sander with support from Tina & Russell Vinjevold. The Desert Lion Project would like to thank them for their considerable efforts. A total of 163 people attended the talk and the subsequent feedback has been positive. There were several donations in support of the event and thanks goes to: Langer Heinrich Uranium (Hannelie van der Merwe - N$ 5,500), Alexander Forbes (Herman Krause - N$ 1,000), Annegret Sander (N$ 1,000), Paul van Biljon (N$ 600), Dayne Braine (donated 3 photos for the silent auction), and several smaller donations. The funds raised during the event will be used for vehicle maintenance and fuel to support field work (photos by E Verwey).

Silent auction. Eight photos of desert lions and three from Hobatere (donated by Dayne Braine) were available during a silent auction to raise funds for the Project (6 photos displayed below). The successful bidders are thanked for their support and the proud owners are: Andrew Reid, Dieter Risser, Erik Rodenwoldt, Herbert Lohmeier, Karen Retief, Michael Knobloch, Patrick de Goede, Paul van Biljon, Swakop Veterinary Clinic.

6 Dec 2010. "Paws for Cause." The presentation on the Desert Lion Project, held at the Namib High School in Swakopmund on 4 Dec 2010, appeared to have been well received and the event was a success. The presentation was dedicated to Dr Hugh Berry (photos left & middle - by Emsie Verwey). Mielies & Peter Sander and Tina & Russell Vinjevold are thanked for all their efforts in arranging and managing a successful event that hosted almost 200 people.

3 Dec 2010. Swakopmund Talk. Final preparation are underway for a presentation on the Desert Lion Project in Swakopmund tomorrow evening.

30 Nov 2010. Cape Town Talk. The feedback presentation was given to a group of approximately 200 people. Etienne & Anne-Marie Bruwer and Lizette Jenkins are thanked for their support in arranging the event. Hannes Lochner is thanked for a donation of R 5000 that was generated from the sales of his latest photographic book (see link). Adolf Huester sponsored the flight to Cape Town and 500 Desert Lion stickers that were handed out at the venue. Many individuals, in particular: Eden Human (Die Burger), Drs. Freddie Senekal & Nathanie Naude (in-kind support & donations), Bernd & Frauke Sander, Elzette du Preez (De Grendel wine estate) & Stephanus du Plessis (computer support), went out of their way to assist and support the project.

Adolf Huester, Etienne & Anne-Marie Bruwer and Pieter Meiring (photo: Eden Human)
Opening slide of presentation

25 Nov 2010. Damaged GPS collar. The GPS radio collar fitted to Xpl-20 at Hobatere on 24 April 2010 (photos below left: 1, 2 & 3 by Sean Braine) was damaged badly when it was removed from the lion after he was shot on 6 Oct 2010. Followit, the supplier of the GPS collar, evaluated the damage (photo far right) and concluded that it must be returned to them in Sweden. Repairs to the collar will amount to € 893 (excluding the courier costs).

23 Nov 2010. Presentations. Field work was stopped to have repairs done to the Land Cruiser and to prepare for two presentations on the Desert Lion Project. The first will take place in Cape Town on 27 Nov 2010 (to give feedback on the fundraiser that was held in February 2010) and the second in Swakomund on 4 Dec 2010. Updates to this web site will therefore be less frequent during the next few weeks.

22 Nov 2010. Hobatere male. The trophy hunting of Xpl-20, the Hobatere male, on 6 Oct 2010 has generated a lot of public interest. Even though it appears that there was a legal permit, the shooting of Xpl-20, an important attraction to tourist visiting Namibia for more than five years, has been criticised widely. The hunters apparently claim that the collar was not visible, yet the photo (bottom left) taken by Dieter Risse on 3 Oct 2010, clearly shows the collar. Xpl-20 was born in Aug 2000. He was first radio-collared on 10 Dec 2001 and his life-time home range was 4,251 sqr km (map - central). Large numbers of tourists visited Hobatere Lodge during the period of Xpl-20's reign (graph - far right). The statistics also revealed that Xpl-20 was observed and photographed by 8,369 tourists.

21 Nov 2010. Mobile. With advise from JB Auto Repairs and Adolf Huester, the electrical problems with the Land Cruiser were repaired. The exhaust on the vehicle has started disintegrating. It has been welded and repaired many times and needs to be replaced. Observations on the lions had to be stopped because of the noise generated by the faulty exhaust. A rare sighting of two honey badgers was enjoyed near the Hunkap River.

20 Nov 2010. Xpl-56. All available options to find Xpl-56 (see left & middle photos below - taken shortly before leaving his natal Hoanib Floodplain Pride) have been exhausted. The Hoanib Floodplain lionesses, accompanied by Xpl-73 ("Rosh" - photo on right), are still in the dune area near Mowe Bay.