Large Carnivore Research Project
In any national park area, it is important to continually research the wildlife population and observe the dynamics of it. We were very pleased to be a part of an important research study – the Large Carnivore Research Project, in conjunction with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
Predator populations naturally ebb and flow – if lion populations go up, then painted wolves and hyena go down, and vice versa. At the beginning of the year, we undertook the first stage which was a carnivore count. The second phase, which has been funded by the very generous donations of Bushlife Conservancy, was this carnivore collaring. As it is the denning season for the painted wolves we couldn’t collar them – it is critical to never disturb them during this time. In July 2020, we undertook the collaring of three hyenas, a leopard, two lionesses and a lion. It is hoped that by collaring these predators, their movements can be tracked, den sites marked and information on genes and diseases can be collected. The last time that research was collected on lions in Mana Pools was by Norman Monks in 2008, so more recent research is dearly needed.