Maasai Mara Big Cat Wildlife Research

Monitoring Big Cats in the Mara provides us with data to understand how to improve the livelihoods of the animals and people surrounding the Conservancy.

Project located in Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya
Project focused on Conservation

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The Maasai Mara ecosystem is world renowned as being one of the best places in the world to see big cats. This is due to the rich numbers of wildebeest and antelope that big cats frequently prey on and the annual migration that passes through the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.

The loss of wildlife in the area has been devastating in recent years due to increased human settlement in and around the Maasai Mara. The Big Cat project is making conservation efforts based in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy which borders the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Conservation, as from The Happy Africa Foundation’s perspective, is aimed at reducing the negative impact of humans on wildlife. Monitoring the path of the Big Cats will help us find answers and supporting data to understand how to improve the livelihoods of the animals and people surrounding the conservancy. Through the purchasing of range-finders, compasses and camera traps we are aiming to collect accurate data on wildlife populations, densities, and local movements.

Short Term Impact:
Range-Finders and Compasses are used to collect accurate data on wildlife populations, densities, and local movements. This data is then fed back into research being conducted by Oxford-Brookes University in an attempt to better understand wildlife population trends across the greater Masai Mara ecosystem.
Camera Traps are used to photograph and identify leopards and other big cats, as well as to improve our understanding of all the different species that occur in Naboisho. They can be used on a transect, collecting daily information for an extended period of time in a set area. This produces the most scientifically robust results. Alternatively, if we suspect an unknown leopard or lion is frequenting an area, strategically placed camera traps would help us capture a number of good images of that individual and help with identification. Identifying big cats is all part of understanding the social dynamics and distribution of these species.

Long Term Impact:
The big cat monitoring data and the plains-game population data are provided freely to the management of Naboisho Conservancy, as well as the various tourism and land-owner stakeholders, to be used for planning and decision-making for the conservation of the area and the land-use options for the greater surrounding ecosystem.

Mara Naboisho Conservancy
The Maasai Mara ecosystem is world renowned as being one of the best places in the world to see big cats. This is due to the rich numbers of wildebeest and antelope that big cats frequently prey on and the annual migration that passes through the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.

Achieved So Far:
We are currently fundraising for 8 range-finders, 8 compasses and 6 camera traps at a total target of £2180.