South African woman saving lions


This video says about itself:

One Woman’s Remarkable Journey to Protect Lions | Short Film Showcase

16 July 2018

Lion conservationist Moreangels Mbizah lives in South Africa, works in Zimbabwe, and studies in England. As one of the few female scientists in sub-Sahara Africa, Mbizah is committed to staying on the continent in order to carry out her research in Hwange National Park.

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Namibian honey badger stands up to lion


This 23 July 2018 video from Namibia says about itself:

Fearless honey badger

Male lion sneaks up on a honey badger but the little guy surprises the male lion and stands his ground and manages to escape. Filmed near Halali, Etosha. Credits via Heiko Denker.

Botswana buffalo save colleague from lions


This video from Africa says about itself:

Buffalo herd saving their brother from a hungry pride of lions

20 June 2018

The herd of buffalo is estimated at between 900-1,500, so there are plenty to go around. However, as you can see, the buffalo will often come to each other’s aid. They are very dangerous and could easily kill a lion.

Credits: Conan Butcher

Taken at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Lion conservation, new research


This 2018 video is called Unbelievable! Male lion rescue his lioness from lions and hyenas.

From Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution:

Lion conservation research can be bolstered by input from a wide-range of professionals

June 19, 2018

Summary: To tackle the sharp decline in lion numbers, conservation research should consider wild prey, livestock and the environment, not just human-lion interaction, a new review suggests.

The conservation of lions, while maintaining the well-being of people that live around them, is a complex problem that should be addressed by a wide range of professionals working together, suggests a new review published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Rather than focusing solely on human-lion interaction, factors such as the environment, wild prey and domesticated livestock should be considered to get a full evaluation of the problem. This approach can generate effective policies to address the dramatic decrease in lion populations seen in recent years.

“We reviewed lion conservation research and found that most of this work was completed by experts from three highly-related disciplines: biology, wildlife conservation and environmental science”, says Professor Robert A. Montgomery, lead-author of this study, based at the Michigan State University, USA and affiliated with Oxford University, UK. “Human-lion conflict is a multi-dimensional issue involving not only people and lions, but also livestock, wild prey, and the environment. Thereby, we recommend that researchers studying human-lion conflict work together with colleagues from ecology, conservation, economics, sociology, and the humanities, among others, to fully evaluate this issue to develop sustainable solutions.”

“Since the lamentable death of Cecil, a lion we were studying, lion biologists have been energized to make quantum leaps towards a comprehensive conservation plan that benefits lions and the people that live alongside them. The need is really urgent, so the time for action is now”, adds Professor David Macdonald, co-author of the study and Director of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.

Once common across all of Africa and parts of Europe and Asia, lion populations have declined sharply in recent decades, inhabiting just 8% of their historic range. This decline can be attributed to several factors including habitat loss, climate change, disease, hunting and human conflict.

“We recognize that conservation of lions and the well-being of people that share landscapes with them is a very complex problem, which will be best assessed via interdisciplinary research teams — teams of professionals with a wide-range of expertise,” explains Montgomery. “Thus, we decided to examine the extent to which human-lion conflict research has been interdisciplinary to date.”

Montgomery and his co-authors, — international experts in conservation, wildlife ecology, environmental science, sociology and ethics — rigorously examined human-lion conflict research from between 1990 and 2015. They found a rapid increase in human-lion conflict research over this period, with most scientists having a biological, wildlife management or environmental science background.

“The lack of interdisciplinarity could not be blamed on researchers failing to reach out to experts in human behavior, environmental science, or policy-making. In many cases, lion biologists were making these inquiries but receiving declined invitations for collaboration”, says Montgomery. “However, the lion research community has recently made great strides to become more interdisciplinary.”

The analysis also revealed that most research focused on the human and lion dimensions of the human-lion conflict problem, where in fact there are other factors to consider. The environment (weather, seasonality and land cover), as well as the distribution, abundance and behavior of wild prey and domesticated livestock will also influence the extent of human-lion conflict.

Montgomery concludes with some recommendations for future research.

“The wild prey of lions deserves more study, as their ecology, movement and depletion are particularly relevant to human-lion conflict. We show there is space for the evolution of a new pride of lion researchers, bringing together a wide-range of expertise to examine the different dimensions of human-lion conflict. Genuine interdisciplinary research, driven by experts in anthropology, sociology, law and public policy, is more likely to address the missing link between research and policy enactment.”

The research is part of a special article collection on lion researchers.

Hyenas save baby from lions


This video from Kenya says about itself:

Lions mess with the wrong hyena clan

11 June 2018

Because lions and hyenas both consume the same prey, they are each others’ most common competitors. Lions are three to four times larger than hyenas and hunt larger animals. A group of hyenas, however, can often use teamwork to intimidate a lion away from its meal. Both lions and hyenas frequently steal from each other. Lions have learned to recognize the feeding calls of hyenas after a recent hunt. They follow the calls to the source and chase the hyenas from their prey. Although it would seem abundant prey would lessen the hostility, the opposite has been observed.

In this sighting the lioness was trying to catch a young hyena and the hyena clan would have none of it, this lioness was very lucky to survive this ordeal.

Filmed in Masai Mara.

Fruit flies fear lion feces


This 2016 video says about itself:

How To Humanely Get Rid / Remove Fruit Flies! The Ultimate Guide (Well, one way to do it) #vegan

18 October 2016

Obviously we need to look after our little bug friends as well as the big animals in the world, so when they decide to take over our kitchen to feast on a left out piece of fruit, the least we can do is kick them out nicely. Here is my guide to how I removed a fruit fly infestation from my kitchen. Be nice to the fruit flies people!

From Lund University in Sweden:

Fruit flies fear lion feces

May 29, 2018

A new doctoral thesis from Lund University in Sweden shows how fruit flies use their sense of smell and humidity to find food, avoid dehydration and discover the best place to lay their eggs — in overripe marula fruits. Faeces from herbivores are also suitable, but the flies reject carnivore excrement.

Summer is high season for tiny fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Overripe fruit is their favourite haunt, and if the fruit is in a relatively humid location, the fruit flies like it even more.

On Friday 1 June, Suzan Mansourian will publicly defend her thesis Drosophila sensory neuroethology, in which she examined fruit fly behaviour and the nerves and neural pathways that govern this seemingly simple organism.

Together with colleagues, Suzan Mansourian investigated and mapped the receptors on the fruit fly’s antennae, which it uses to locate food, humidity, reproductive partners, and a good place to lay its eggs. Some receptors detect fragrance molecules from the fermentation process in rotting fruit — a fragrance that signifies food for the fruit fly.

Other receptors react to the smell of phenol, which is released by the pathogenic bacteria in the excrement of predators. When the fruit fly identifies the smell of phenol, it avoids laying its eggs in the location, as it is a dangerous place for the larvae.

Mansourian made the discovery in connection with fieldwork in Africa. Her results show that fruit flies shun the excrement of lions but have no objections to laying their eggs in giraffe faeces.

In her thesis, she also describes the fruit fly’s humidity receptors, located behind the antennae. These receptors function like a sixth sense for the fruit fly, helping it to find environments where it can avoid dehydration. These humidity receptors enable the fruit fly to find its way into kitchens, for example, where the humidity in the air is usually relatively high, around 70 per cent.

Although the fruit fly is a generalist and manages to survive well in widely diverse environments, Suzan Mansourian reveals that it thrives best of all in the vicinity of overripe marula fruits, which are plentiful for parts of the year in the whole of southern Africa. Her conclusion is that marula is the original host plant of the fruit fly.

The findings in the thesis increase knowledge of the fruit fly’s senses of smell and humidity, as well as their underlying mechanisms.

“These results could lead to new approaches and strategies in combating mosquitoes and insect pests”, says Suzan Mansourian.

Repeated exposure to large quantities of alcohol may lead to tolerance by reducing the activity of a protein that regulates communication between neurons, according to a study of fruit flies published in eNeuro: here.

Buffalo saves lizard from lion


This video from South Africa says about itself:

Buffalo Launches Lion into Air to Save Lizard

29 May 2018

Have you ever seen a lion being thrown into the air by a buffalo, do 3 flips and then land on its feet? Now you have.

Business System Manager, Sune Eloff (32), was out for a drive on the H4-1, just west of Lower Sabie, in the Kruger National Park, when she came upon an almost funny interaction between a buffalo and a young lion who was trying to catch a monitor lizard. Interesting events soon started to unfold…

Sune tells Latestsightings.com: “We spent some time at Sunset dam watching impala coming down for a drink. We decided to move on and saw some lions sleeping in the riverbed. They were so calm and peaceful and then suddenly we saw all of them get up and move into the reeds. At this point I took out my camera as they were watching something that we could not see. Suddenly a young lion came out of the reeds with a water monitor lizard that he had just caught. This is when the entire scene started to unfold…

Some buffalo in the vicinity had noticed that the lion had captured a lizard and one of them came storming in as if he knew this lizard needed protecting. To our absolute astonishment, the buffalo proceeded to get his head right under the puzzled lion and somersault him through the air.

It was crazy! I had mixed feelings… the excitement of everything happening was overwhelming. I felt bad for the young lion, but luckily he had enough brains to know that he needed to get out of there, and fast, so off he ran. The three dagga boys (male buffaloes) still charged into the reeds every now and again but the lions scampered off.

I have never seen anything like this in my life and I’ve been a Kruger visitor since the age of 2, definitely a first for me!”