‘Ajali’ is the biggest lion pride at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, with close to 22 members. Other prides here include the Bima, Amanda, Equator, Christine, and Utali groups.
To ensure that this vulnerable species continues to thrive, the Conservancy has fitted some of the female lions with GPS/VHF collars. Lionesses are fitted with the collars because they tend to stick within the prides, unlike their male counterparts who can be ousted from the group.
We refrain from collaring a young individual to avoid the possibility of outgrowing the collar and choking on a collar that is too tight.
Collars serve several purposes. One of them is monitoring the movement of the lions within and outside the conservancy.
The collars also assist in monitoring the home ranges of the lion prides, indicating range utilization and overlaps. Through the GPS locations recorded by the collars, one can easily monitor the lions’ prey preference and predation patterns. In a situation where the lions kill an endangered species, one can tell which pride is responsible. This helps with decision-making by management in addressing the inevitable conflict about which wildlife is more important to our Conservancy.
In addition, with the collars, you can physically track the prides using a telemetry device, where the ecological monitoring team has a chance to check if there are injured or sickly individuals, newborns, or mortalities/missing individuals.
Last but not least, collars help mitigate cattle-wildlife conflict, as they have sensors that show when the lions are in close proximity to cattle bomas in the Conservancy. This alerts the herders preventing conflict and avoiding cattle losses.
Would you like to participate in this unique and exciting experience at Ol Pejeta? You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +254 (0) 707 187 141 for bookings or any inquiries.
Susan Watiri, Ol Pejeta Conservancy