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egilio last won the day on June 23 2012

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About egilio

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  1. Lovely sighting of the Spice boys! And by the looks of it you did indeed beat the other cars to the sighting! @amybatt @wilddog it's not the darker one who is the odd one, it's the lighter one, ginger! Garlic is just a normal coloured lion, ginger isn't. The contrast might make Garlic appearing darker than you'd expect. Ginger doesn't have any black pigment (look at his nose and tail tip for example), a condition as far as I know only known from 1 lion currently alive, him! It is true that the extent of black hairs in manes varies from male to male, and it is thought this is related to testosterone levels. All males (except white male lions, and Ginger) have black hairs, some more than others. The size of manes also varies, with generally the ones in colder areas being more extensive (like the Kalahari or Busanga) and in with longer hairs in more open areas (again Kalahari, Serengeti, Busanga). While it has been shown that females seem more attracted to larger manes and darker manes, it's not clear if those males are the 'dominant' ones. Adult males are dominant over adult females, and between males there might be dominance, but with lots of prey and many females to attend to this might not actually mean much in the sense of more feeding and breeding.
  2. What a great report! Looking forward to some tortoises!
  3. I should explain it better. Of course he would usually switch off his car. But he noticed that when would switch the engine on to re-position, the leopard would move. Or at night drives they sometimes switch on to make sure the spotlight isn't draining the battery. He noticed that those were actually the times the leopards would make a move and were often successful. So since then he refuses to switch on his engine to re-position even if guests request it (yes, that can cause issues too). When he sees a leopard he parks and that's it if potential prey is nearby and the leopard is interested in it. It happens regularly that leopard stalk behind and even under cars. A great experience for tourists, not so much for the targeted pukus and impalas. South Luangwa has many great guides and I know many of them, and this one is definitely in my top 5.
  4. Ginger! He's a special lion to me, first saw him as a cub in October 2008 and immediately recognized that he was a special lion! About vehicles at sightings. Yes there is this 'rule' in SLNP, but it's more of a gentlemens agreement than a law. Actually, it matters much less if there are many cars at a sighting of sleeping lions then at a sighting of a hunting leopard. Both prey and leopard might get distracted by the cars, and leopards actually often use the cover of the cars (sound and physical) and thus the game between predator and prey is influenced by the cars, which it shouldn't. I know of one guide who told me saw many leopard kills, until he got the idea that the leopards might be using the noise of the car as a cover to stalk closer. Since then he would always switch off the engine immediately whenever he saw a leopard hunting. He never saw a kill happening anymore. PS: the correct name for the chestnut bellied kingfisher is grey-headed kingfisher.
  5. Bummer, but seeing a young lioness at that time fits very well with her estimate age (from footage in 2005 when she was in a prime age).
  6. She was a special lion indeed. Purring outside my tent from time to time, sometimes lying around in camp when we were cooking dinner at night. And when you would shine a torchlight in her direction she would roll on her back. When additional lions were introduced this behaviour became less and less and she spend more and more time with her own kind, the way it was supposed to be. She lived a long life for a lion, but it's still sad that the last lion of Liuwa left. @Geoff Do you have any pictures of Lady from 2002? Or anybody in your group? I think there were 3 lionesses in 2003, but not sure if I remember that correctly.
  7. I think there's one record of a northern carmine bee-eater in Zambia (the one in Luangwa). There actually is a book called 'Fieldguide of birds found in Zambia which are not found in Southern Africa' : Here
  8. I'm sure they have a safe distance, but this distance is much shorter for a sit and wait hunter versus a courser. You'll often see impala actually approaching a leopard or lion, and keep their eyes on them. But for wild dogs they usually run much earlier. In this paper we measured vigilance, and not flight (which obviously is also a risk effect). There are interesting questions in the whole predator prey system which we only start to understand now. But if you think about it, both parties have been around each other for a long time, and very tuned in to each other, picking up clues we are not aware of yet. I once for example followed 2 wild dogs chasing 2 oribis. For several 100 meters they were right on the heels of 1 oribi, while the other was maybe 100 meters ahead and 100 meters to the left. Suddenly the dogs just switched to the oribi which was further away. Me and my colleague wondered what was going on, they nearly had this oribi and now they went for one which was much further away! They managed to bring down the other oribi and pulled out a fully grown calf, it was actually bleating when they pulled it out (and then was snatched away by a hyena). Clearly the dogs somehow picked up that they had a better chance on taking down the other oribi, something we had completely missed.
  9. @wilddog Thanks for posting this, I think you posted it within 1-2 hours of it being published! @Towlersonsafari Interesting questions. It has been theorized that sit-and-wait hunters induce a higher non-consumptive-effect than coursing predators on the basis that if you encounter a cue of a sit-and-wait hunter, that should be highly indicative of danger. Whereas for a coursing predator who (more) actively searches for prey, the presence of a cue might not be such a good indicator of the predator actually being present as they roam widely. In this paper we measured vigilance as the risk response, but there are other ways prey allocate energy when encountering predators (flight for example). It would be interesting to compare fecundity rates of different prey animals in small game reserves which are similar in size and located close to each but have, or don't have, predators. The lion pride in Liuwa might be new, but lions have never been really absent, and during our study the lions were mostly together in one unit. The reaction of wildebeests to 1 lion is probably not much different to reaction of encountering multiple lions (apart from that they might be easier to detect). The paper is temporarily available at the following link:
  10. Thanks for your answer @@inyathi it would be interesting to hear from people in the future, about where Zakoumas abundant wetland birds breed. In Luangwa and Liuwa waterbirds breed in the wet season, with the chicks fledging towards the end of the wet season. Are kudu in Zakouma scarce? I don't remember seeing many pictures of them?.
  11.[uNIQID] And on the AP website:
  12. Have you tried various Africa/insect/creepy-crawlies facebook groups?
  13. Excuse my ignorance. There are incredible numbers of birds in Zakouma. Do cranes, pelicans, yellow-billed stork and marabou storks breed in the park too?
  14. A wishlist...These are a view areas which spring to mind. The WAP area (Pendjair-Arly-W) in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. Or any subset of it. Niokolo-Koba in Senegal (small populations of elephants, lions, giant sable and wild dogs left). Dinder NP in Sudan seems to hold reasonable numbers of animals, Manovo-Gounda-Saint-Flores NP in CAR might hold viable animal populations, some area in South Sudan are very much worth protecting. Basically any area with wildlife left in central and western Africa is worth protecting from an animal conservation point of view. Large areas in south-east Angola could prove to be incredible wildlife areas if given the chance to recover (Luiana, Mucosso, Luengue, Longa Mavinga), Cameia NP could be a fantastic destination but I'm not sure if there are any viable mammal populations left. Cangadala and/or Luando are worth protecting just because these are the only areas where small populations of one of the rarest antelopes are left (giant sables). And Kafue NP in Zambia could benefit from increased funding.
  15. The North of The Netherlands is sometimes hit by earthquakes for which there is considerable evidence that they're linked to gas production. However, those earthquakes are usually hardly felt, of magnitude <3. Same in areas in the US. An earthquake of this magnitude, 6.5, is considerable. To link that to fracking, I'd say, is a stretch. Is there a lot of fracking in that region? Have there been lots of little quakes previously?

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