Sub-adult male lion monitoring
Dispersing sub-adult males (those who have left their ‘home’ pride but have not yet found or established a pride of their own) are frequently nomadic for years, wandering over vast distances and often coming into contact with humans and livestock. They are the main demographic of lion associated with human-lion conflict, so we use lion collars to help alert us to potential problems and reduce the impact of any conflict.
Sub-adult males are also largely responsible for connecting sub-populations of lions and maintaining genetic diversity within a population. In an ever-evolving ecosystem like the Greater Mara, lion collars will help to identify priority landscapes for protection.
Considering that two of the major threats facing lions are human-lion conflict and habitat fragmentation, we focus on dispersing male lions when it comes to collaring, as they provide the most relevant and useful information for conservation planning. Without collars, we would never understand exactly what is happening to this vital demographic of lions in the Mara.