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Lion TM059 “Bart”

 

A handsome young lion with no field home range, he remained within the reserve for the entire study.

A handsome young lion with no field home range, he remained within the reserve for the entire study.

This young male with very striking facial features was part of a cohort of three young males. He was observed singly on several occasions and was estimated to be about 4 years old when collared in March, 2010. He spent a little time around Tau Pan, but did not associate with the four territorial lions of the Tau Pan pride. Instead the three young males wondered over one of the largest areas of a male that I observed, coming into contact with females of many other prides. Often these interactions were amicable, but on one occasion I was following TM059 and his two companions as they roared and approached two females. When they were within a few hundred metres they began to give chase and the females fled. After running for around 1.5km they caught up with one of the females and proceeded to beat her until subdued. They sniffed her, and left her with apparent interest in locating the other female. This location was the furthest north east they had ever been, and it was unlikely they had ever encountered these females before.

 

 

Lion TM059 had the largest range of any of the male lions, with no fixed pride.

Lion TM059 had the largest range of any of the male lions, with no fixed pride.

 

Over the final few months of observation, TM059 was only ever observed without his two companions, in the far south east of his range. While TM059’s range was the largest of any of the study males, while his mean daily movement distance was the smallest. This highlights the lack of relationship between range and daily movement distances, instead pointing to the effort that pride required for males to defend appropriately sized areas. These large arid ranges require constant patrolling and effort to ensure that intruders do not have access to undefended females at the critical times when they are prone for the mating phase of oestrus.

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