SAVE Lions: Evaluation of the camera traps

The “SAVE Lions” project, which SAVE is carrying out together with Pro Wildlife, is making great strides. The goal is that in one of the most conflict-ridden regions near the Okavango Delta in Botswana, no lion should die any more.

In the project regions, NG 32 and NG 35 (NG is the abbreviation for Ngamiland) camera traps were set up along the cattle fence. This fence is strategically important for the project because it is meant to separate livestock and wildlife. This allows the Lion Rangers to monitor the movement of wildlife along and outside the fence.

The camera traps were placed in such a way that they are hardly visible to humans on the one hand and provide high-quality images on the other. Possible game crossings were selected as the position. These, it turned out, were mainly holes in the fence through which wild animals migrate.

Analysis of the camera traps by the Lion Rangers showed that a particularly large number of animals appeared near water holes: from warthogs to hyenas, antelopes and elephants with their young.

The pictures showed that especially the elephants destroyed the fence in some places. The larger the holes, the more wildlife can enter the cattle herds’ area, which must be prevented in the future.

The good news for the cattle herders: lions have not been recorded by the camera traps so far. But this is only a snapshot. Detecting them early in the project area and protecting the cattle is the most important goal of the “SAVE Lions” project.

The Lion Rangers will therefore continuously read out the memory chips of the camera traps.

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