Wildlife ACT’s conservation volunteers recently got to help with Lion call ups that took place in the iMfolozi section of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa. The first night 10 lions came arrived at the station that the vet had set up after a buffalo distress call had been played. One lion was collared, blood samples were taken and the lions were branded. The second night seven lions arrived, blood samples were taken and the lions were branded. The conservation volunteers helped with the spotlight to check for other lions coming in while the team were busy with the darted lions.
Lion call ups are conducted to determine population size, obtain genetic sampling and aid in various long-term research projects. We have a population estimate for the Park but it’s really only based on an informed guess. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife are currently in the process of a mark-recapture study as well as movement, prey selection, genetics and disease status survey, so we’ll have a population estimate later in the year. We suspect that the population may be around 150 animals.