Lion Dispersal

We are using special research collars fitted with GPS to document lion movements across a diversity of landscapes. Mapping lion movements across protected areas, community lands, and private ranches provides valuable information on dispersal areas and high conflict zones.  In 2015/2016, we used GPS collars for two research studies; Energetics and Dispersal.

  • Energetics: This study measures the impact that humans have on lion persistence in the landscape. Energetics refers to the energy budget of an animal during a variety of behaviours and activities. Specifically, we have been collecting data to measure how many calories adult male and female lions expend in the course of their average day, sleeping, hunting and travelling; and how these energetic costs are impacted by human activity. To measure this, we use specially designed GPS collars that collect fine-scale data.  This study was done in collaboration with University of California at Santa Cruz, and Living with Lions.
  • Dispersal: We are collaring young adult lions as they disperse from their maternal prides in order to map their movements and energetic expenditure. This will allow us to accurately measure the impacts humans have on this important age-set. By mapping the movements of these young adults, we will be able to identify areas that are important for lion connectivity and begin to expand our community conservation programmes into these areas.  This study is being done in collaboration with Lion Landscapes.

Currently, we have 5 lions collared – one female in Westgate, one female in Kalama and 3 dispersing males who roam the community conservancies and private ranches between Samburu, Isiolo and Laikipia.

Collared lioness Nadala in Kalama Conservancy

Letoiye and Yesalai track Naramat in Westgate (Photo by Owen Bissell)

Read our latest blogs on some exciting dispersal movements: