Wildlife Masters Research Work 2014

Supporting research and publications is another key aspect of what we do at the Wild Lion Trust. As usual our partners in empowerment, the Wild Tomorrow Fund (USA) and As Wild As (UK) jumped on board and supported the work we do with enthusiasm that motivates all those who are touched by their incredible dedication to wildlife.

A long term study of the impact African wild dogs are having in Tembe Elephant Park and their interaction with lions, is in its final phase as the second draft of the thesis has just been completed. The African wild dogs were introduced into Tembe in 2011 and knowing what impact they have on the environment is crucial. One of the major concerns are that the pack, which have taken to living in the sand forest to avoid lions, might be eating the protected suni, a tiny antelope that lives in the very areas the pack have chosen as their safe haven. Initial results suggest the pack don’t have any major impact on suni populations and a lot more interesting stuff is coming out from this study – which once completed, will be published and distributed.

The project was first supported by MS. H. H. Yang, a Taiwanese national in her private capacity. This soon grew as Natracare, a UK based feminine hygiene product company with excellent track record in environmental practices, saw the value of the research and made major financial contributions that allowed the study to continue. The Wild Lion Trust, As Wild As, Wild Tomorrow Fund and Wildlife ACT all formed part of the team required in getting this study done – which would not have been possible without the oversight and support of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the management authority in Tembe Elephant Park. Once completed, the study should generate numerous publications as well as spurn multiple projects, all in the name of getting the science out into the public domain so that we can drive knowledge and improve our collective understanding.