About the Tracking Technology

Why collar Lions? 

Living with Lions has been working on lion conservation in Laikipia, Kenya  for years, monitoring the movements of lions in relation to people, livestock, different land-use boundaries and other natural resources. Lions in this region are very difficult to find without the use of collars because they are experts at avoiding people. Monitoring lion movements helps us understand what factors are important to lions in a human/livestock dominated landscape, identify individual lions that kill livestock, and develop techniques to reduce lion human conflict.

What technology was historically used to do this?

Until recently, monitoring was done using VHF collars, which emit a radio signal that allows researchers to physically find the lions. This requires actually finding the lions each time. To collect frequent, regular positions, especially at night, when lions are active without affecting the lion’s behaviour required a different technology.

The maps on this website are created from data collected using GPS collars which record the position of the lion automatically (every hour in the case of these collars) and store this information on the collar. The researcher is then able to remotely download all the hourly locations when the lion is located once a month

What do these GPS collar maps tell us?

These detailed movement maps allow us to see how lions use the landscape and how their movements are influenced by other factors such as habitat type, proximity to people, livestock, roads, rivers and other features on the landscape.  You can see how far the collared lions are moving and how they use their home range area. You may even be able to pick up likely kill sights (where a lion spends several hours in one spot during the night) or locations of small cubs (where a lioness returns over and over again to the same location). Good luck and enjoy!