Study

Introduction of lions Panthera leo to Phinda Private Game Reserve, Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

  • Published source details Hunter L.T.B., Pretorius K., Carlisle L. C., Rickelton M., Walker C., Slotow R. & Skinner J.D. (2007) Restoring lions Panthera leo, to northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: short-term biological and technical success but equivocal long-term conservation. Oryx, 41, 196-204

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

    A study in 1992–2004 in a grassland reserve in KwaZuluNatal Province, South Africa (Hunter et al. 2007) found that translocated lions Panthera leo that were released in groups that had already been socialised and formed into prides, established stable home ranges, reproduced successfully and survived at least a year. Of 15 lions released, all except three, which were removed for killing a tourist, survived ≥398 days post-release. Average post-release survival was ≥1,212 days. At least 95 cubs from 25 litters were documented from the population over the 13-year study. Excluding cubs translocated to other sites or those still <18 months old at the end of the study, 51 of 65 cubs (78%) reached 18 months of age. Seven lions were released in May 1992, six in February 1993 and two in January 2003. Releases were into a fenced reserve (initially 176 km2, then extended to 210 km2). Before release, lions were held in groups, each in an 80-m2 acclimation pen, for 6–8 weeks. During this time, socialization occurred and stable prides were formed. Eleven of the founder lions were radio-tracked and other animals were monitored by direct observations.

  2. Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals

    A study in 1992–2004 in a grassland reserve in KwaZuluNatal Province, South Africa (Hunter et al. 2007) found that most translocated lions Panthera leo held in pens before release survived for more than one year and established stable home ranges and that the population grew. Of 15 lions released, all except three, which were removed after killing a tourist, survived ≥398 days post-release. Average post-release survival was ≥1,212 days. At least 95 cubs from 25 litters were documented among translocated lions and descendants over the 13-year study. Excluding cubs translocated to other sites or those still <18 months old at the end of the study, 51 of 65 cubs (78%) survived past 18 months old. Nine lions were released in May 1992, six in February 1993 and two in January 2003. Releases were into a fenced reserve (initially 176 km2, then extended to 210 km2). Before release, lions were held in groups, each in an 80-m2 acclimation pen, for 6-8 weeks, during which time socialization occurred and stable prides were formed. Eleven of the founder lions were monitored by radio-tracking and other animals were monitored by direct observations.

Output references

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