News - 2012

Dec

December

30 Dec 2012 / 1 Jan 2013. Huab Pride. The Huab lioness has moved to the Long Dune near Slangpos.

30 Dec 2012. Huab Pride. The Huab lionesses and their eight cubs have returned to the Huab River after spending several weeks in the Springbok River.

28 Dec 2012. Xpl-68 towards Terrace. The “Terrace Male” completed feeding on the Oryx carcass and moved north towards Terrace Bay.

27 Dec 2012. Xpl-68 update. See links above for latest movements.

26 Dec 2012. Xpl-68 feeding. The “Terrace Male” remained in thick vegetation at the mouth of the Uniab River and is still feeding on the Oryx carcass.

25 Dec 2012. Xpl-68 kill Oryx. The “Terrace Male” killed an Oryx at the mouth of the Uniab River. Namibia Wildlife Resorts and the Ministry of Environment & Tourism were informed of the development. One of the new signs donated by TOSCO (see 21 Dec 2012) were used as a temporary measure to inform tourists at Torra Bay of the lion.

24 Dec 2012. Xpl-68 at Uniab Delta. The “Terrace Male” reached the Uniab Delta last night (see “Terrace Male”).

23 Dec 2012. Xpl-68 heading for Uniab Delta. The “Terrace Male” had another marathon night and walked >50 km via the Hunkap River through the dunes towards the Uniab Delta (see “Terrace Male”).

Seals vs. Hyaenas. Several hot and windless days had a severe impact on the seal colony at Mowe Bay. Thousands of seals were observed playing in the water (presumably to cool down), but many pups died due to heat exhaustion. A brown hyaena carrying a dead seal was captured by a camera-trap on the Hoanib Floodplain – a remarkable distance of 25 km from the seal colony.

22 Dec 2012. Xpl-68. An extensive search was launched to locate the Floodplain lionesses and the 5 Musketeers. The GPS collar of Xpl-10 needs to be replaced with a new satellite collar. At sunset the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) was located on the eastern edge of the Hoanib Floodplain. During the night he moved 42.5 km towards Hunkap spring.

21 Dec 2012. Sign Boards.TOSCO sponsored eleven "No Entry" signboards for the Skeleton Coast Park. The signs were delivered to the Park Wardens at Mowe Bay and will be placed at key locations to help control illegal traffic into the Park.

20 Dec 2012. "Terrace Male". Xpl-68 was observed near the mouth of the Hoanib River. During the night he crossed the dune-belt to the Floodplain and is currently moving towards Auses spring. TOSCO sponsored a satellite collar for a lioness. Felix Vallat will be delivering it to Mowe Bay a bit later today. The collar was last observed passing through Omaruru (see map below).

19 Dec 2012. Brown hyaenas. A camera-trap was mounted at the Police station in Terrace Bay where a brown hyaena was reported to cause damage to property. The images revealed that several hyaenas, including two large cubs, visited the area to feed on food scraps. During the night Xpl-73 “Rosh” moved to the edge of the Giribes plains. It is possible that Xpl-73 attacked livestock that are currently utilising the green grass on the plain.

18 Dec 2012. Updates. After four days at the same location, the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) moved south to Auses spring. Xpl-73 (“Rosh”) moved away from the livestock area and is currently in the Okongwe Mountains.

17 Dec 2012. Updates. During the night Xpl-73 “Rosh” moved into the Gamatum River and around the cattle post, but by 04h00 he left the area and moved into the mountains to the south. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) is still at the same location in the dunes north of Auses.

16 Dec 2012. "Rosh". Xpl-73 has moved towards the Gamatum River and is close to a cattle post (see Hoanib Pride).

15 Dec 2012. Guardian Training. The first training course for “Lion Guardians” was presented at Wereldsend earlier today.

14 Dec 2012. Wereldsend. The Torra Conservancy selected six candidates to receive training as future “Lion Guardians”. The training course will take place at Wereldsend. Some of the Agab lions were located in the upper Koigab River.

13 Dec 2012. Fly with "Rosh". Daily movement updates are available for the four lions (see above). A Google Earth gadget was developed in a new page for Xpl-73 – see Fly with “Rosh”.

12 Dec 2012. Hoanib Lagoon. During the night the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) moved to the Hoanib lagoon and along the beach for a short distance (see satellite image below). A Google Earth tour of Xpl-68's movements during the night can be viewed under Fly with Xpl-68.

11 Dec 2012. More on "Terrace Male". Last night the “Terrace Male” moved towards Mowe Bay again and spent the night amongst the dunes and gravel plains to the east and north of the station (see Xpl-86 daily movements). A summary of his movements since he left the Huab River in Aug 2012 was compiled (map below). See Xpl-68 Summary for more details.

9 & 10 Dec 2012. Movement Updates. See links above.

8 Dec 2012. Google Earth. A Google Earth gadget was developed in a new page (Fly with Xpl-68). The procedure allows viewers with fast Internet connections to “fly” with the “Terrace Male” during his wanderings through the dunes north of Mowe Bay on 5/6 Dec 2012.

7 Dec 2012. Movement Updates. Daily movement updates of four lions are available (see links above).

6 Dec 2012. Terrace Male north of Mowe Bay. During the past 24 hours Xpl-68 embarked on yet another remarkable journey. He departed from Auses spring yesterday morning and walked halfway to the Hoaruseb River only to turn around and return to the Hoanib River - a distance of 52.3 km. The fact that he did this through the dune-belt (where he had to traverse hundreds of sand dunes that can be as high as a three-story building) is truly remarkable.

5 Dec 2012. Monitoring Systems. Studying lions in an arid and mountainous environment, such as the Kunene Region, is difficult. It is therefore important to occasionally verify the accuracy and reliability of the monitoring structures that have been developed. When the “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) embarked on his extraordinary travels in Aug 2012, nobody could have predicted the extent of his movements during the following three months. The question is therefore posed: if Xpl-68 were not fitted with a satellite collar in Aug 2012, would we have known about his movements? A network of ten camera-traps, situated at key locations in the study area, was operational prior to Xpl-68’s travels. The images recorded by these cameras were evaluated to determine to what extent (if at all) the movements of the “Terrace Male” were documented. The results were striking. A total of 26 photographs of Xpl-68 were captured by six of the ten camera-traps.

4 Dec 2012. Springbok Kill. Xpl-86 and the other Hoanib sub-adult lions displaced two male cheetahs from a fresh springbok carcass in the Sawurogab River.

3 Dec 2012. Hoanib lions. An extensive search was launched for the Floodplain lionesses, but they could not be located. The four sub-adult lions of the Hoanib Pride were tracked and found east of the Mudorib junction. They have separated from their mothers (Xpl-47 & 59) and they may disperse soon. A female (Xpl-86) was immobilised and fitted with a VHF radio collar so that their movements can be monitored. An elephant bull approached the vehicle unnoticed and nearly disrupted the darting procedure. Daily updates of the four lions with satellite collars (see above) are now fully functional, and more will be added within the next week.

2 Dec 2012. Floodplain. The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) crossed over the dunes to the Hoanib Floodplain. Xpl-10 and the Floodplain lionesses good not be located, but four sub-adult lions from the Hoanib Pride were observed at 24h00 in the Mudorib River.

1 Dec 2012. "Terrace Male". Xpl-68 was located near the mouth of the Hoanib River. He is in good condition.

In consultation with the Chief Warden at Mowe Bay, a pamphlet was designed to inform visitors and fishermen at Terrace Bay and Torra Bay of Xpl-68’s movements in the area. The notice (see below) will be placed at the two camps and at both entrance gates.