News - 2012



NEW !!!! Current locations of lions. Torra Conservancy: Huab Pride & Agab Pride. Sesfontein/Purros Conservancies: Hoanib Pride. & Nomadic: Terrace Male

30 Nov 2012. Lion movements. The new pages showing the daily movements of four satellite-collared lions (see above) have been activated and the process is being tested.

29 Nov 2012. Website changes. The Desert Lion website is currently being modified to accommodate daily updates of the movements of lions fitted with satellite collars. The aim is to provide up-to-date information to the local communities and the tourism industry. In collaboration with IRDNC, Torra, Sesfontein & Purros Conservancies, and the local tourism operators, systems have been initiated where the Conservancies have daily access to the Internet to monitor the movements of the lions and then to alert the local livestock farmers when lions move towards settlements. The information will also benefit the tourism industry by increasing the likelihood of locating and viewing lions. The possible misuse of the information will be monitored closely.

Satellite collars have been fitted to key lions that occasionally enter the Torra, Sesfontein & Purros Conservancies. The current movements of these lions will be presented for the Torra Conservancy (the Agab Pride & the Huab Pride – see map: below left) and the Sesfontein & Purros Conservancies (the Hoanib Pride - Xpl-73). A map with the current location of each lion will be updated every day. A red dot will indicate the position of the lion at 07h00 of that day, and blue dots will show the movements during the previous 5 days.

28 Nov 2012. Land Cruiser repaired. Repairs to the Desert Lion Land Cruiser were completed late this afternoon. Alfons Motors and Swakop Body Works are thanked for their efforts and for the quality of the repairs. The Terrace male (Xpl-68) has not moved from the position east of Oasis spring (image: bottom left) and both Xpl-36 (the Agab lioness “Monica”) and Xpl-75 (the Huab lioness) are still roughly in the same area as yesterday (image: bottom right).

27 Nov 2012. Lion movement update. The Terrace male (Xpl-68) moved 2 km east of Oasis spring and it appears that he captured an Oryx or an ostrich at a patch of vegetation in the dunes (image: bottom left). The Agab lioness (Xpl-36, recently named “Monica”) is currently 8 km west of Wereldsend and the Huab lioness (Xpl-75) is still in the Springbok River (image: bottom right).

25/26 Nov 2012. Vehicle. During the past two days the Terrace male (Xpl-68) moved back and forth at the mouth of the Hoanib River and then into the dunes east of Oasis spring. Alfons Motors in Swakopmund completed the major mechanical repairs to the Land Cruiser and Swakop Bodyworks is currently attending to the structural repairs of the cab.

22-24 Nov 2012. Terrace Male. Repairs to the Land Cruiser in Swakopmund are still on going and the research vehicle is only expected to be ready towards the end of next week. Xpl-68 (the Terrace male) moved northwards from the Uniab Delta and arrived at the mouth of the Hoanib River earlier this evening (map: bottom left). The Agab lioness (Xpl-36) moved through Wereldsend and then along the veterinary fence towards Springbokwasser (map: bottom right).

16-21 Nov 2012. Update. A presentation on the Desert Lion Project was delivered to the Land Cruiser Club of Southern Africa on 16 Nov 2012. Adolf Huester and Onga Off-Road are thanked for facilitating the event (photo top left). The planned modifications and upgrading of the Desert Lion website (see 12 Nov 2012) have been delayed by technical and programming problems. Repairs to the Land Cruiser also took longer than expected. Hopes are that fieldwork will resume on 25-26 Nov 2012. The current locations of five satellite-collared lions are presented below.

Talk to the LCCCSA - 16 Nov 12 The “Terrace Male” (Xpl-68) at the Uniab Delta Xpl-36 south of Wereldsend
Xpl-73 “Rosh” in the Okongwe area Xpl-81 & “Charlotte” west of Hunkap spring Xpl-75 in the Springbok River

14 Nov 2012. "Terrace Male" & Huab Female. Due to the dispersal of Xpl-68 (previously known as the “Huab male”) from the Huab River & his extraordinary movements during past few months, it was decided to change all future reference of Xpl-68 to the “Terrace male”. On 15 Nov 2012, the Terrace male (Xpl-68) moved northwards from the Uniab Delta and he is currently 4.5 km southeast of Terrace Bay (map: bottom left). The satellite collar of the Huab lioness (Xpl-75) failed to transmit location data after it was fitted on 6 Nov 2012. With the help of Africa Wildlife Tracking the recording schedule of the collar was re-activated and the first location data were received today (map: bottom right). Technical problems are currently hampering the planned modifications to the Desert Lion website (see 12 Nov 2012), but the process continues.

12 Nov 2012. Satellite collars. The Desert Lion website is currently being modified to incorporate current technology that will enable a new way of presenting the movement data of lions fitted with satellite radio collars. If successful, this improvement should provide accurate and up-to-date information that will be valuable to the local communal conservancies (assisting them in livestock management to avoid potential incidents of “Human Lion Conflict”) and to the tourism industry. The current positions of six satellite collars are presented below.

Xpl-36 (Agab Pride), Khoabis River, 15 km northwest of Spaarwater Xpl-53 “Charlotte” (Hunkap Pride), 12 km east of Hunkap spring Xpl-68 “Huab male”, Uniab Delta, 500 metres from the ocean
Xpl-73 “Rosh” (Hoanib Pride), Hoanib River, east of the Obias junction Xpl-81 (Hunkap Pride), upper Barab River A new satellite collar that just arrived in Swakopmund

10 Nov 2012. Uniab Delta. The Huab male (Xpl-68) returned to the Uniab Delta last night and it is possible that he captured another Oryx in the reeds at one of the numerous springs on the eastern edge of the Delta.

8/9 Nov 2012. Two-week break. After eight months of intensive fieldwork it has become necessary to take a short break from the desert and it’s lions. The field vehicle is in desperate need for repairs and a service. The Land Cruiser reached 200,000 km on 24 Oct 2012. The continuous work in the harsh terrain since Feb 2012 has resulted in several mechanical problems that include: a faulty fuel pump, worn-out CV joints, a damaged driveshaft, and structural failure of the cabin support beams. The time and access to a good Internet connection will also be used to upgrade the website.

7 Nov 2012. Xpl-68 returns to Hoanib mouth. The Huab male (Xpl-68) left the Uniab Delta and Terrace Bay area and walked 67.3 km along the western edge of the dunes to the mouth of the Hoanib River.

6 Nov 2012. Huab Lioness. The Huab lioness, Xpl-75, was darted and fitted with a satellite radio collar (donated by Guillaume Fouchier). Mr Jantjie Rhyn, the local livestock farmer (photo: left), attended the darting.

5 Nov 2012. Wereldsend. A follow-up meeting, to discuss practical solutions for the current problems experienced with lions killing livestock in the communal conservancies, was held at Wereldsend. The meeting was chaired by the Ministry of Environment & Tourism and attended by the Torra Conservancy, local farmers, IRDNC and local tourism operators. The Huab male (Xpl-68) moved 38.5 km last night after spending several days at the Uniab Delta. He is currently east of the dune-belt and north of Terrace Bay.

4 Nov 2012. Barab/Aub Rivers. A young adult male (Xpl-79) was darted in the lower Aub River and fitted with a refurbished GPS collar. The collar was programmed to record two positions per day for the next five months, when a satellite collar will replace it. The lion had to be darted twice because the first dart was deflected and failed to inject the anaesthetics (photo: bottom middle). A group of three kudu bulls were observed near the Uniab/Urunendis junction.

3 Nov 2012. "Mindy". An additional satellite radio collar, donated by Guillaume Fouchier, was received from Africa Wildlife Tracking. The Aub lioness (“Mindy” Xpl-83, darted on 8 Oct 2012) and the two males (Xpl-79 & 80) were located in the Barab River. Xpl-83 is lactating and it is suspected that she will give birth within the next week.

2 Nov 2012. Xpl-68 & Road Construction. The Huab male remained behind the reeds next to the main road to Terrace Bay. It is suspected that he captured another Oryx during the night. The lion got used to the heavy traffic on the road and after the second day he took little notice of the vehicles – as long as they stayed on the road and continued driving. When vehicles stopped or turned around, Xpl-68 responded by hiding in the reeds. The road construction team were informed of the lion.

1 Nov 2012. Uniab Delta South. The Huab male (Xpl-68) captured an Oryx (see 31 Oct 2012) close to the main road to Terrace Bay and at the most southern point of the Uniab Delta. Because of road construction that is currently in progress, the lion dragged the Oryx carcass into a thick bank of reeds to avoid the disturbance and he spent the past 24 hours close to it. Several tourist cars and construction vehicles drove past the spot, but nobody saw the lion.