Monthly Archives: April 2014

Survival factors in living with lions

Cheetahs thrive, wild dogs don’t…

Increases in the number of top predators like lions do not always affect the number of cheetahs in the area. A recent study looked at the effects of lion populations on other hunters. The number of cheetahs was not affected by the increase in the lion population but wild dogs suffered to the point of local extinction.

SONY DSCThe study used historical data accumulated in the Serengeti over a period of 30 years and study of individual animals via radio-collars. During the closing decades of the previous century the number of lions tripled. During the same period the wild dogs left the area or were killed outright while the cheetah population remained stable.
When comparing the findings with data from fenced areas in southern Africa showed the same pattern. Cheetahs can live with lions but wild dogs can’t.

What could be a factor is that lions do not exclusively hunt the same prey as cheetahs and therefore will not always compete at the dinner table. Wild dogs have a wider range of prey animals and can therefore be a greater threat to lions.

Of course the study only addresses certain aspects of inter-species dynamics and does not mention that all three species suffer most from the ultimate apex-predator, humans and their relentless expansion.

Read the study report in the Journal of Animal Ecology

Javan leopard release program – Update April 2014

On ground level they are still working hard to make the release of the wild leopards Sawal and Dimas a fact. Sadly things in Indonesia are not going fast, as you can expect of a country with an attitude “if not today, there’s always tomorrow!”

But currently there’s a meeting with Ciremai National Park to talk things through about the release and to put camera traps in the center of this Park to continue with the assessment in that area. It is a difficult project as there’s little info and experience in the release of Javan leopards and no knowledge of suitable areas to do a release as such in which the leopards will be safe.

The leopards are fine under the circumstances but the situation is far from ideal of course and we all cannot wait to give back their freedom. Help is offered now from a person experienced in surveys, camera trapping etc. so let’s hope this will speed up the assessment in the Ciremai National Park.

Our fund raising #3 is still on for 5 more days on Indiegogo, for everyone who still wants to support this release project and everything to do with it, a very valuable and time consuming operation. In the meantime we keep you updated whenever there’s news!!

 

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Rehabilitation Program Orphan Wild Leopardcubs

We were told about many orphan wild leopardcubs that end up at reserves or other private projects, who handraise them and want to offer them a permanent home as acc. to them they cannot be released again. Sadly they often also offer interaction with these cubs!
To those we want to offer to bring the cubs (youngsters up til a year) to us as our leopardfemales and also males for sure will adopt them and teach them how tobehave like a leopard again. No more interaction with humans, but humans close enough for them not to get shy, so after some time (approx a year) they are suitable to go to (for sure) a Private Game Reserve. Not tame but also not shy cubs are perfect to live wild but protected and to be sighted on educational game drives, they make the best ambassadors. Even our captive born, but motherraised leopardyoungsters are suitable for this and soon move out.

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