31 Oct Lion collaring
Two HAWK105 GPS/GSM radio collars were kindly donated by Trisha Wilson from Izingwe Lodge. HAWK105 consists of the latest in GPS (Global Positioning System) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) technology. The device fitted to the animal determines position accurate within 10 meters at user’s specified times. These time schedules (daily or weekly) can be programmed and reprogrammed while the animal is in the field.
The gathered position data can be logged or sent to the user immediately. The user will download the data from the Internet using the HAWK105 software package. Schedule changes can be made using the software package or phoning the control center. All the data is secure.
As a backup to the above-mentioned system, a beacon transmitter is activated automatically in the case of no GSM or GPS coverage. Battery life depends on the number of readings taken per day. In a well covered (cellular) is the estimated battery life for 5 readings per day is 2 years per ‘D’ type battery.
At the end of September, one lioness in the south of the reserve was fitted with a radio collar, while the second collar will be fitted to a lioness from the western pride in November.
These collars will allow us to gather new data on the movements and ecology of the lions and will focus specifically on predator-prey relationships.
We are in the process of reducing our lion population, and the data gathered will provide valuable knowledge of the influence of the lions on the prey population. The collars are currently set to take five readings a day but might change as needs of the project change.
The adjacent map shows the actual positions of the southern lioness as collected with our first download. The lions concentrated mostly on the newly opened Sterkfontein property.
We would like to thank Trisha for her donation and interest expressed in research on Welgevonden.