Kenya’s wildlife service collars a lion for information gathering
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) today fitted one of the more than 30 lions in Nairobi National Park (NNP) with a satellite radio collar to monitor its movement and location.
The early morning exercise was witnessed by KWS Director General Mr. Kitili Mbathi and International Fund for Animal welfare (IFAW) officials led by Mr. Steve Njumbi.
By early 2016, the NNP lion population was about 36 lions, out of which 3 were mature males, 10 mature females and the rest were juveniles and cubs.
Between 2014 and 2016, 5 lions were fitted with satellite radio collars to monitor their movement patterns and changes in ranging behaviour.
KWS has put in place short and long term management measures for lion conservation in Nairobi National Park. These range from fence maintenance to active management of the lion population through satellite monitoring amongst other methods.
“IFAW has so far donated 6 Satellite collars and 18 camera traps to KWS whose cost totals 37,000 US Dollars” said Mr. Njumbi. The equipment will help improve lion monitoring and hence better inform management decision making.
The information is collected by the lion collars in real and is transmitted to park management to guide problem animal control teams whenever collared individuals are observed to be headed to areas inhabited by people, thus averting conflicts.