Big Cat Research Update
By Yusuf Magoye, Wildlife Biologist, Njozi Camp
Photos/Videos by Brooke Mitchell, Conservation Director for The Wild Source
Reported in May 2023 following the January-April 2023 Calving Season
The plains of Ndutu have always been a perfect niche for the cursorials. Thanks to the vastness, we have been recording new individuals on our database each season that come from different parts of the Serengeti ecosystem. We’ve had individuals that would just be visitors for days then keep extending their journey furthermore, there are others that would dwell, and those who would be visiting often but not settling. And this observation proved to us that cheetahs cover a very big home range; 190 km², having most of the individuals coming from the eastern Serengeti. Serengeti Cheetah project has access to the eastern Serengeti and we have been cooperating with them to trace backgrounds of individuals that keep coming to Ndutu.
Tracing backgrounds of these individuals has enabled us to know their relation to the ecology and this gives us a purpose to why we should value them and conserve their existence as species in nature. To enhance this globally, The Wild Source is partnering in software applications that will identify individual cheetahs while on safari. For example, these apps are programmed to decipher an individual cheetah to its user by matching their spot patterns and the rings around the tail.
We are hoping this technology can revolutionize research and become the central hub for tracking and monitoring big cats. We must have a common sense of conservation in nature, and by using a big cat identifier app every user will value each individual found in the database since it has also got not only photos but adequate profiles of individuals. The big cat ID app creates a strong network in conserving nature.
Having been on our database since 2019, Brooke is an individual that we’ve always been certain to find her at the same area, the small marsh. She gave birth to new born cubs in late march 2023, she seems to be finding the small marsh a perfect niche for her despite the tragic loss of her cubs that she could not manage to save from Laura; the lioness from the small marsh in 2021.