The Bubye Valley Conservancy Research Project
The African Lion
Since African lions were re-introduced to Bubye Valley Conservancy (BVC) in 1999 the population has grown rapidly. Today B.V.C is home to approximately 20% of Zimbabwe’s lions. This is not just the largest
The goals of the project are diverse, but the focus is on describing and understanding the general ecology and conservation of African lions in a large fenced reserve. The unique pattern of resource dispersion – a legacy of the conservancy’s origins as a cattle ranch – is currently giving us the opportunity to gain experimental insight into the origins of group living of this large gregarious carnivore. Intensively studying a portion of the population, whilst monitoring management-driven changes, is allowing us to understand how population dynamics, dispersal mechanisms (and avoidance behaviour), stress (both chronic and acute), and hunting strategies, are all affected by resource availability.
B.V.C provides a unique opportunity to study African lions within a large trophy hunting area that is relatively free from other factors associated with lion population decline, such as poaching, retaliatory killing, and habitat loss. The lion population dynamics are also monitored and modeled to assess sustainable trophy hunting with minimal confounding variables. This aspect of the research has become increasingly relevant with
You can learn more about the B.V.C Lion Research Project by visiting the Bubye Valley Conservancy website.