Predator Monitoring & Research

Drive predator research forward and protect these icons for generations.

Why Predators Matter

Discover the vital role of Kalahari predators and help ensure their survival.

Be Part of the Solution

Help safeguard Kalahari predators through active research and monitoring.

Experience Conservation Firsthand

Participate in Kalahari predator monitoring and make a tangible difference.

Conservation in Motion

Your contribution powers Kalahari predator research and protection.

Unlocking the Secrets of Kalahari Predators: Predator Monitoring & Research

Join the Frontlines of Kalahari Predator Monitoring & Research

At Working with Wildlife, we don’t just observe wildlife – we actively work to understand the vital interconnectedness within the Kalahari ecosystem. Our Wildlife Monitoring Program focuses on iconic predators like African wild dogs, cheetahs, and lions, providing essential data for long-term conservation strategies within the reserve and beyond.

Guests on a game viewing vehicle observing African wild dogs, Kalahari Reserve.
Guests on a research vehicle observe cheetahs resting beside them, Kalahari

Become a Conservation Partner in Safeguarding Lions, Wild Dogs, Cheetahs & More

Predator monitoring in the Eastern Kalahari Bushveld is essential to preserve the fragile balance of this dynamic ecosystem. As our predator monitoring partner, you’ll actively contribute to understanding populations, behaviors, and the challenges faced by iconic predators like wild dogs, cheetahs, and lions beyond poaching. Our work uncovers fascinating details about pack dynamics, predator-prey relationships, and how these resilient species adapt to the Kalahari’s often harsh conditions and the ever changing world beyond it. Night drives may even reveal fascinating nocturnal dramas under the star-filled sky.

Your participation empowers our work in unraveling the complex relationships between these apex species, their changing habitat, and the ongoing struggle against bush encroachment. This helps to formulate informed conservation strategies that protect Africa’s apex predators and shapes the future of a threatened and iconic Kalahari ecosystem for generations to come.

Why Predators Matter – Our Conservation Approach in a Closed System

Collared spotted hyena walking through a Kalahari waterhole
Guests kneeling in Kalahari grassland, conducting a plant survey
Leopard drinking at a Kalahari waterhole at night

Predator Monitoring & Research at Khamab Kalahari Reserve: The Big Questions

How are Kalahari predators utilizing and responding to different habitats, both natural and those altered by bush encroachment?

  • How are habitat preferences shifting with bush encroachment AND its control methods? What does this mean for different predator species?
  • What can lions, wild dogs, cheetahs, and hyenas tell us about prey species health within the reserve?
  • What are the current population sizes, home ranges, and overall dynamics of key predators on the reserve?
  • What impact do predators have on prey populations in varying habitats? What does this tell us about carrying capacity on Khamab Kalahari Reserve?

How does this predator monitoring and research drive successful reserve management? Your presence on this project allows us to tackle these important questions head-on!

Your Role in Predator Monitoring: Experience Conservation Science

Close-up of a leopard track in Kalahari sand
Predator Monitoring and Research

Beyond ‘Big Names’: Wildlife Monitoring Across the Kalahari

Leopard, hyena, rhino, elephant, vultures… Our monitoring extends beyond just pangolin and apex predators, ensuring we capture a holistic picture of ecosystem health. While these animals might not be collared, incidental sightings can often turn into vital data collection sessions. Each animal tells a story: From scat analysis to assessing waterhole use, these diverse data points reveal an interconnected web of life on Khamab Kalahari Reserve and responding to different habitats, both natural and those altered by bush encroachment.

Your Impact as a Conservation Monitor: How You Make a Difference

Field Force Multiplier: Actively assisting researchers extends our coverage area, enabling more robust data collection over shorter periods. More guests equal more vehicles, thereby increasing the frequency and duration of observations. This offers more comprehensive insights into the prey selection, kill frequency, and social dynamics of the large predators on Khamab Kalahari Reserve.

  • Observation Power: By covering a wider range of habitats and ecological conditions where these carnivores move and having more eyes on a vehicle to maintain visuals of the target animals, we can record more detailed predator sightings, behaviors, and any potential prey interactions for deeper insights, particularly when comparing areas with heightened bush encroachment and those without.
  • Cost Effectiveness: By joining, you help mitigate expenses associated with fieldwork. Your fees contribute to vehicle, staff, and general operational expenditure that such studies require. This cost-effectiveness allows for longer study durations, more extensive sampling, and increased statistical power.
  • Public Outreach: Your involvement fosters public engagement and awareness of wildlife conservation. You can act as an ambassador, spreading knowledge about the ecological importance of large predators and their role in maintaining balanced ecosystems. This further empowers others to contribute to future predator monitoring and research or conservation initiatives.
African wild dogs chase and attack an adult eland in the Kalahari

African Wild Dog Monitoring

  • Pack Dynamics: African wild dogs rely on cooperation and intricate social bonds to navigate harsh Kalahari environments. Understanding their pack structure aids management and potential reintroductions elsewhere in their dwindling range.
  • Monitoring at Khamab: Active tracking and camera traps. Data reveals home ranges, population size, pack dynamics, prey preferences, kill frequencies, and potential threats.
  • Why It Matters: These endangered and highly social predators regulate prey numbers. However, they are high impact animals with complex social structures and as such, require continuous monitoring and management. Khamab Kalahari Reserve has a sizeable African wild dog population and if left unchecked, wild dog numbers can quickly escalate and decimate prey numbers.
Cheetahs chasing a young oryx calf in the Kalahari

Cheetah Monitoring

  • Kalahari Survivors: Adapted for speed in open landscapes, cheetahs face unique challenges of habitat fragmentation and low prey density. Long-term studies track their genetic diversity and population health vital for guiding conservation efforts.
  • Monitoring at Khamab: Active monitoring to determine kill frequency, prey selection and territories. Population estimates by identifying individual animals via spot patterns through extensive camera trapping around the reserve and at key cheetah marking posts.
  • Why It Matters: Cheetahs, as apex predators, are ecological ‘thermometers.’ Threats they face are often the early warning signs of issues impacting the broader Kalahari. Bush encroachment is eroding suitable cheetah habitat further placing pressure on populations. Much like African wild dogs, cheetahs are prolific hunters and their impact cannot be underestimated.
Three male lions attacking a Cape buffalo in the Kalahari

Lion Monitoring

  • Kalahari Kings: Their adaptations to semi-desert living make Kalahari lions unique. Through extensive reports and some key identifying features like ear-notching, we can gather sufficient data to reveal movement patterns across the reserve, their prey interactions, and hunting tactics.
  • Monitoring at Khamab: Individual ID by whisker patterns, tracking via spoor and camera traps. These lead to behavioral observations from predator monitoring and research vehicles where prey preferences and kill frequencies can be recorded.
  • Why It Matters: Lions are both keystones to the ecosystem and flagships for conservation. Data helps with lion management decisions ensuring genetic diversity and managing the impact on prey populations and other predators like African wild dogs, cheetahs, and hyenas.

The Long-Term Vision: What Our Predator Monitoring and Research Strives to Achieve

  • Science-Driven Management: Provide Khamab Kalahari Reserve with a powerful base for future ecological decision-making based on our predator monitoring findings. You can read more about the reserve and our project on the About page.
  • Eastern Kalahari Conservation Blueprint: Our findings can offer lessons for other fenced reserves facing similar habitat challenges. To see more images of the Eastern Kalahari Bushveld and the endemic wildlife, visit our Gallery page.
  • Ecosystem Guardians: Your passion is translated into action, ensuring these iconic predators are understood and protected for generations to come. You can visit IUCN to learn about threatened and endangered species globally.

Ready to help us with predator monitoring? Contact us today!
More questions, read our FAQs

Scroll to Top