Lions – Ndutu area

By April 2020 there are four prides and a total of 40-45 lions in the Ndutu region (not including visiting groups and nomads). 63% are adults i.e. 4 years and older.

The marshes of Ndutu are a wildlife refuge and the core area of Big Marsh pride. Livestock is not permitted to enter this area and the Big Marsh depend on wild prey, and often struggle for survival in the lean, dry season.

South of Lake Ndutu and lake Masek are the core areas for the Masek and Twin Hill prides. This area fills with people and herds of livestock during the dry season. With the main purpose of preventing conflicts between lions and livestock we have deployed GPS collars on one lioness each, in these two prides; Nosikitok and Nadine, of the Masek and Twin Hill prides, respectively.

From the collar data we gained insight to the shift in behaviour of the lions that we all assumed moved off during the dry season. They did not disappear. To the contrary, they were often closer than you imagined, securely tucked into dense vegetation during day-light hours. At night they nip out, often hunting or scavenging lost or dying livestock, occasionally bringing down a giraffe. We often find them better fed compared to their Big Marsh neighbours due to the easy (but dangerous!) access to livestock. As rains return and the pastoralists move off with their herds, these lions resume more relaxed behaviours, become more active in daytime, and we often find them resting and playing out in the open.

Ndutu Area Population, by October 2016. Click to enlargen.

Ndutu Area Population, by April 2020. Click to enlargen.

BACK

Nadine from the Twin Hills Pride of Ndutu was collared by Roimen in July 2018