The Tsavo lion project was headed by Bruce Patterson (Field Museum), Samuel Kasiki (Kenya Wildlife Service) and Alex Mwazo (now of Kenyatta University). We sought to understand the ecology and behavior of lions in southeastern Kenya, the land of maneless males and legendary man-eaters. We wanted to know why these lions look and behave differently from lions elsewhere and understand how to mediate their conflicts with people. This work was done in collaboration with Roland Kays (New York State Museum), Jean Dubach (Brookfield Zoo), and Mike Briggs (APCRO).
The project was based on the Taita-Rukinga Conservancy and supported by our respective institutions, the Earthwatch Institute, the National Geographic Society, and Wildlife Works. To see the animals we looked at, click here (server dumped!) and to see some of the data that we collected on them, (server dumped). To see pictures of the some of the animals seen on our last trip, (server dumped) .
The efforts and insights of many volunteers contributed importantly to the project's successes. Since 2002, we hosted 68 different field teams. They eventually contained 542 volunteers hailing from 40 nations on 6 continents. The teams made 2066 data-collection drives lasting 8291 hours and traversed 92,937 km of dirt roads and tracks. They made 86,549 animal sighting, recording some 365,099 individual animals. They collected a LOT of data!!
The teams were led by Samuel Kasiki, Alex Mwazo , Roland Kays, Andy Dosmann, Natasha Godard, and Bruce Patterson. Kathy Evans, Nicola Clarke, Dan Patterson, Valerie Sebestyen, Carol Carpenter, Darren Fox, Barb Harney, Ann Kooi, Vera Groschopp, Sheri Perera, Kathy Richards, Mary Ellen Rowe, and Andy Tutchings each participated in two or more lion teams and deserve special recognition here.
Documents at the Earthwatch site: