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Latest updates from ALERT

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Ngamo Lion Release - Update

Its now been two months since the pride of eight lions were released. To assess how they are doing compared to lions in the wild research has been undertaken on a variety of behavioural factors including prey choice, hunting ability and strategy, average daily meat intake, territorial behaviours, activity and social behaviours, amongst others. Some of these studies will take much longer to produce meaningful data, however early indications against one of the established criteria for success ca

David Youldon

David Youldon

Ngamo Lion Release

On September 1st our honoured guests arrived and were treated to a game drive around the Ngamo release site; adjacent to Antelope Park. This project is a joint public / private initiative and guests included Francis Nhema, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, the Director General of the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Authority, the regional Governer, and representatives from a host of public organizations from all facets of government and public life as well as the Zimbabwean press.

David Youldon

David Youldon

More news from the field

In brief... Out at Dambwa, the lions are now undertaking regular forays into the site and have started to hunt, although as yet have been unsuccessful. Leya and Loma are showing the greatest promise. Of course the site is designed specifically for the lions to practice their hunting skill and with most of the lions taking part in this element of their pre-release training having made kills already, we are sure that they will be able to learn to tackle the species available to them soon. The

David Youldon

David Youldon

News from the field

Our Night Encounter area is now complete in Dambwa, just outside Livingstone, and populated with game including zebra, puku, wildebeest and impala. The choice of species and number for this first reintroduction of game to the area was compiled following a further environmental impact assessment by the Zambia Wildlife Authority. The lions have been on their first forays into the site already but full operations are not due to start until the end of June after we have had the opportunity to inst

David Youldon

David Youldon

Over 4.8 million tune in to Lion Country

The big story for the last month is of course the transmission of the first two episodes of Lion Country on the UK’s ITV1 channel. Episode three airs tonight (Wed 10th Feb, ITV1, 7.30pm). Around 4.8 million people tuned in to watch the show which we hope will bring much needed awareness to the need for quick action to ensure the future of the African lion, arguably the world’s most iconic species and a prominent symbol of Africa. Of course we also hope that those people watching the series wi

David Youldon

David Youldon

Where is your pride?

As we enter a new year ALERT has taken a moment to reflect on the last 12 months. You can read this with our latest newsletter here. Click here for our full Review of the year In other news: On Wednesday 6th January at 7.30pm on ITV1 in the UK the first episode of the six part series filmed about the lion release program will air. ITV have elected to call the series Lion Country. In October last year we announced our support for The Tashinga Initiative (www.thetashingaintiative.org), a wil

David Youldon

David Youldon

More recently...

The first truck of materials to build the Dambwa Forest release areas has arrived in Livingstone. The first task is to build three large management enclosures at the south western corner of the site. Progress on this has been very quick. As soon as the remaining trucks arrive we will start building the main site itself. We are hoping that the whole site will be complete by the end of the year but with the rains setting in the end of January may be a more realistic goal. The first area to be

David Youldon

David Youldon

Production Diary

Since late September we have been hosting a film crew producing a series about the lion release project for the UK's ITV network. The production diary is below. 25th September The ITV film crew arrived into Zimbabwe today, and will travel from Harare to Antelope Park outside Gweru this afternoon. Over the next seven weeks, the crew will be filming all aspects of the program both at Antelope Park and later at our Livingstone program. 26th September Offloading over 380kg of equipment – includin

David Youldon

David Youldon

ALERT and well...

Apologies for being lax in updating this blog, but things have been a bit hectic to say the least. Here are the highlights from September: Temi & Tswana at only 11 months old are already killing waterbuck and impala. The 2Ks of Kosey and Kanu have spent the last three months or so settling into life at our stage one in Victoria Falls, and opened their hunting account in dramatic style on the 14th September. A mid-morning walk along the river led the cubs to an encounter with a lone buffa

David Youldon

David Youldon

What we are currently working on...

Download the latest newsletter (c. 0.9 mb) at September newsletter This month's issue includes... • Renewed calls to upgrade Panthera leo to CITES Appendix I... • ALERT’s response to the proposal… (also see previous post in this blog) • Another week and another victim falls foul to Kwandi… • The last time the 2Bs were featured in this newsletter… • The 4Ss continue at full steam with their Night Encounter careers... • The final hunting update of the month comes from Antelope Park’s 2Es... •

David Youldon

David Youldon

Response to unconfirmed reports of a proposal to upgrade lions to CITES Appendix I

ALERT has received a circulating draft document to upgrade the African lion to the CITES Appendix I category of “threatened with extinction”. CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. CITES was established to reduce the export and marketing of a variety of species as a contributory factor to their further decline as a result of commercial use. All import, export, and re-export and introduction of a variety of species thus necessitate ag

David Youldon

David Youldon

Pre-release training

Download the latest newsletter (c. 0.9 mb) at August newsletter This month's issue includes... • Perhaps the most incredible tale to come out of stage one came on the 12th July when 13-month old Leya brought down a giraffe... • Just as all the excitement from Leya’s latest kill was dying down… • Soriah kick-starts the Ss Night Encounter careers… • The 5Ls complete Night Encounter and Luangwa comes out on top... • 3T’s first Character Walks... • Behavioural and physical monitoring int

David Youldon

David Youldon

How many lions do we need to lose?

Download the latest newsletter (c. 0.7 mb) at http://www.lionalert.org/Newsletter%20July%2009.pdf This month's issue includes... • A long walk for Antelope Park’s 2Ss ended their walking career with an exceptional accomplishment... • Sango and Swahili return to Antelope Park… • Luangwa moves into fourth place… • Leya’s first kill... • The 2KLs take on the buffalo… • Stage one welcomes Damisi, Dhakiya, Kanu and Kosey… • Medical and teaching assistance in Gweru… • Health education… • Ground Hor

David Youldon

David Youldon

The community has their say on human wildlife conflict...

Download the latest newsletter (c. 1 mb) at http://www.lionalert.org/Newsletter%20June%2009.pdf This month's issue includes... - A report back on ALERT's recent discussions with Gorongosa NP in Mozambique - Work has finally started on building the first release area in the Dambwa Forest with the full support of the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the local communities surrounding the Forest - Elephants return to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park - ALERT UK patron finally conquers Evere

David Youldon

David Youldon

Results of an independent review of stage two

Response by ALERT to the paper “The rehabilitation of captive bred lions (Panthera leo) in a semi-wild environment for release into the wild: case study of Antelope Park, Zimbabwe” by Roseline L. Mandisodza, 2008, (unpublished). In 2008 ALERT facilitated an independent review of our stage two release program at the Dollar Block reserve in central Zimbabwe. ALERT’s own research technicians were also present at this time conducting our own research on the released lions. The aim of the study wa

David Youldon

David Youldon

The conflicts continue...

As predicted last month the wild dog that have moved into our lion walk area in the Mosi-oa-Tunya have come under persecution. One dog was confirmed killed by communities bordering the Park after it was discovered predating on goats. The other two have not been seen since and are also thought at this time to have been killed. We are now in final preparations for the next community meetings in Victoria Falls where we will present the options available to them and the Parks & Wildlife Manag

David Youldon

David Youldon

Animal Conflict with Humans

Conflict with humans is a major problem across much of Africa as wildlife becomes increasingly confined to ever smaller areas. In Victoria Falls town centre it is not uncommon to have to wait for an elephant or herd of buffalo to move out of the way before being able to enter the infamous bar at Shoestrings or get to the door of the local post office. On the outskirts of town lions are taking the livestock of rural communities; most probably pushed to do so by a decreasing prey base within the

David Youldon

David Youldon

ALERT Communities Trust Partners with Africa Centre for Holistic Management

Dear Friends Our latest newsletter is now available for download at www.lionalert.org. See below for a list of this month's features, but our main feature is shown in full here on Safaritalk. • On the 19th January, Sango and Swahili, now 16-months old, were on a morning walk… • Trying to think of what you could study for your dissertation? Maybe you have an idea but are not sure how to work out the logistics! Worry no more… • The ALERT Communities Trust is proud to announce a partnersh

David Youldon

David Youldon

A Happy New Year from ALERT

ALERT January Update The full version of our newsletter is now available on this site under the newsletter section or by downloading it from our web page at www.lionalert.org. The full version of the newsletter contains the following features, but scroll down to read some of the highlights here… • A look back at a challenging year… • The unstoppable hunting machine that is Etosha trumps all his past efforts with an incredible kill… • CCWA introduces the Friends of Victoria Falls National Pa

David Youldon

David Youldon

ALERT Update November

For those of you who may interested in joining our program at Victoria Falls, you will find that we have just added a number of new conservation priorities in partnership with the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority. Read on for more details. We also bring you an update this month on our conservation and community programs that operate from our base in Hwange National Park. This program offers those joining us incredible wildlife experiences and makes a huge difference to this

David Youldon

David Youldon

ALERT Update

Despite continuing uncertainty within Zimbabwe we are determined not to let that slow us down. This last month has seen us make big advances in a number of priority areas; new release sites have been confirmed, new partnerships are being formed and of course the lions themselves are doing what they do best. We have been able to do a lot of groundwork on new projects for CCWA including forming partnerships with other organizations for mutual benefit that will be announced once all the legal nec

David Youldon

David Youldon

Lions on the wild side

Recently our lions in stage one have been making amazing progress in their hunting abilities; At Antelope Park eight month old Swahili and Sahara chased a rabbit, but it was just too quick for the young females. At exactly the same time 18 month old Luangwa and Msasa had more luck when they encountered a gang of banded mongoose. The mongoose dived for cover chased by Msasa. One made the mistake of breaking out of another whole and was quickly taken by Luangwa. Luangwa on another occasion go

David Youldon

David Youldon

Zambia Expansion Moves Ahead

Back in 2004 an application was made to ZAWA, the Zambian Wildlife Authority and the Zambian Forestry Commission to lease land in the Dambwa Forest outside Livingstone. A public meeting was held on 19th October 2005 to advise local communities about our plans. On 10th August 2006 Andrew Conolly, founder and Chairman of ALERT flew to Livingstone to sign that lease agreement giving 15,000 acres of the Forest to ALERT. Our intention is to build three release sites; two stage 2 sites (500 &

David Youldon

David Youldon

Loko-motion

Last night we took Lokothula, Langa & Ltalo out again following a successful hunt (an ostrich) five days ago. All three started off with a half hearted stalk on two impala and then on a herd of giraffe. When they came across a duiker only Lokothula even bothered to stalk it so we thought we were in for an unsuccesful night. And then the three 25 month old brothers found some Red Hartebeest. All three got into a stalk but again it was Lokothula that showed the real skill picking out an adult

David Youldon

David Youldon

Dollar Block: The Continuing Story of a Release Pride

Sunday 4th May 2008 At 0615h this morning Kenge, Phyre and Ashanti are chilling by the northern water pan. A few minutes later Nala and Narnia approach the pan walking up north from the centre road. They stop from a drink. Athena is nowhere to be seen, but the other five lionesses rest close to each other. At 0704h Nala follows Narnia back down the centre road and they lead us straight to Athena, and a wildebeest kill. From the evidence seen (the size of Athena’s stomach, the amount of meat t

David Youldon

David Youldon

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