New site tracks lion for us!
We are very excited about a new website that has just been launched by the Kilimanjaro Lion Conservation Project, which shows exactly where one of our collared lions Ndelie has been in the previous few days.
Ndelie’s collar transmits GPS signals to a satellite, which then sends this information on his location to the site! You can look at the interactive map to see where he has been, and you can also see where our camp is, and a few of the Lion Guardians’ bomas. Please take a look and explore the new site. It’s really exciting! Here is the link:
This is the lion Ndelie, with Lion Guardian Melubo, when he was collared. His name means cooking pot in Maasai. He is called this because when the Lion Guardians helped to collar him they thought his paws were as large as cooking pots!
This is a really exciting site. I am going to be spending far too long looking at it! It is really interesting to follow Ndelie’s movements and to speculate why he seems to have been very close to the bomas on 29June. Actually I am surprised that the territory is rather small. Does he move on his own usually or in a group? How can we locate your camp? Mbirikani does not seem to be marked although I have found the Chyulu hills. What are the photo markers?
Sounds like a two-edged sword – someone could use that information to find the lion for killing? At least there should be a delay of a few days. We have web sites that track wild bears, but have a delay of several weeks to protect the animals.
Facinating…and Timi, great point…it is too bad we even need to worry about things like that, but, alas, we do…
Well it’s even better than I thought. ..You can ignore my last two questions now. I have now realised that I can click on the photo markers and the boma markers. Everything has become clear!!!Terrific!
There is new data to look at (July 9th to July 6th). He has moved north near the bomas.
Glad you are enjoying the new site. It is great to be able to follow Ndelie’s movements from the comfort of the office! I especially like the PLAY feature – which shows exactly where he walked!
We are pretty sure that you need not worry about people using the site to find lions in order to kill them. The people that might want to kill a lion around here do not have computers with internet access. But I will pass on your comment about the delay to our website-makers.
What is the address of the website that tracks wild bears? I would be interested to see it!
I am sorry I cannot give you a link because it was a one-summer project a couple of years ago, a newspaper co-operating with researchers. The project is already over. They wrote a series articles, with maps showing the routes, but didn’t use very high precision. And it wasn’t in English, so you wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway. I don’t know why I used plural – I tried now to look for another such project, but could not find any public web site showing bears movements. We have had several collared bears killed, maybe that’s why. Wolves too.
Forgot to add: poachers do not need direct Internet access. All they need is a mobile phone connection to someone who does. The technology is already there.
Technology levels here are low due to lack of education in most of our neighbouring communities. Cellphones here are just to call, not even to write a text message – simply because they could not read let alone use the internet. It is true they could call someone who does have the internet, but it is not likely to happen around here.
Will you be putting a link to the tracking map on the side bar?
One thing which does worry me about the radio collar is…if there is an attack on cattle and Ndelie is known to have been in the area, will it be more likely that there will be a reprisal?
Funny you should say that – this happened a few days ago – a donkey was killed, and we were able to see from Ndelie’s site that it was him that was there at the time. If someone wants to kill the lion that killed their livestock they will do this anyway, regardless of whether the site exists (by tracking the lion themselves). In fact it is one of the roles of the Lion Guardians to tell the local community when lions are in their area, so that they can move their livestock to different grazing grounds and make sure they are well protected at night in their bomas.
What makes you think that we only speak english here, or that we are unable to translate websites? Kenyans are some of the most multi-lingual, resourceful people in the sub-continent. Do be careful not to jump to conclusions please.
Good question. My gut feel from talking to people is that things seem to be the opposite. I find livestock owners seem less likely to retaliate against a lion if they know some background to it, such as where it comes from, where we caught it and most importantly, which lion guardian is responsible for tracking it. I regularly tell livestock owners where the culprits responsible for their dead cows are, and sometimes actually take them to see the lion.
Seamus, I have met Kenians in my country, but it is true, of course, I do not know enough about the circumstances in Maasai land. I just know that in my country, predators are being killed, collared or not. Most of them live in sparsely populated areas too wide to be guarded.
What comes to translating web pages, however, is something I think I have good reasons to have doubts about. I looked up the archive of that article series I mentioned. I could not decide which page would be the right starting point, but this page: http://www2.hs.fi/extrat/kulttuuri/karhu/kannoilla.html is part of it and seems like a good candidate. I had great fun reading the translation Google came up with. Great great fun. If you find a free web translator that is capable of making better sense of it, please tell me. I would like to see it.
The only map I found from that archive is behind the link “Juhan liikkeet”. The thick line in the middle of the image is the borderline between Finland and Russia, and during the tracking period, the bear has happened to be on the Russian side of the border, which actually is safer for it than our side, unfortunately.
Can you give more info?