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Africa Predator Conservation Research Organization (APCRO)


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The Zambezi River Basin Transboundry Carnivore Project

This project is the primary long-term study of the APCRO. It is an ongoing multidisciplinary investigation of carnivores in an area of approximately 610,000 hectares (1.5M acres) of the transboundary area that includes the Kwando/Linyanti region of Botswana and Namibia and the Tamafupa region of Botswana and the adjacent Hwange border region of Zimbabwe. This study includes the examination of the overall health and genetics status of the lion, leopard, African wild dog, cheetah, spotted hyena, and black back jackal in this region. It is a comprehensive, broad based look at these species role in disease transmission and impact on genetic viability and reproductive potential through inter species competition.

Wild dog
African wild dog, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Animal census will be performed, as well as satellite tracking of certain individuals to determine home range and potential of genetic distribution. A comprehensive nutritional analysis will be done to determine effects of various habitats and available prey species have on the predators.

Time frame: current to May, 2009

Principal Investigator: M. Briggs, APCRO

Collaborators: M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO; J. Dubach, K. Slifka, Brookfield Zoo; K. Leo-Smith, S. Blackburn, Kwando Safaris, Botswana, L. Mynhardt, J. Mynhardt, Chobe Fish Eagle, Ltd, Botswana, R. Meyer-Rust, Lianshulu Lodge, Mudumu National Park, Namibia

Annual budget: $157,500.00

Start-up cost: $31,200.00

Moroccan Barbary Lion Genetics Project

This project has been initiated by Dr. Dan York, a taxonomist/geneticist from Hillsdale College in Michigan, USA. This study has the endorsement of the African Lion Specialist Group and is to survey the health and genetics of what is believed to be the last of the Barbary lions. This will determine if they are actually a unique subspecies and, if so, what may be done to help save this last extant group of critically endangered lions. A complete health and reproductive assessment will be done as well. APCRO’s participation will be the responsibility of anesthesia, sample collection and health examinations of these endangered animals.

Time frame: November, 2004

Principal Investigator: D. York, Hillsdale College

Collaborators: D. York, Hillsdale College; M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO,

Budget: $17,550.00

West African Genetic/Disease Assessment

Pride male, Chobe National Park, Botswana

This project has been initiated by Dr. Sarel van der Merwe of the African Lion Interest Group in collaboration with D. York. This is an attempt to support and facilitate the group of West African Nations wildlife departments to gain a better understanding of numbers of lion in their regions, train personnel on capture technique, assess genetic differences and current health of the populations. APCRO personnel are involved in all the immobilizations and field training exercises of these 3-4 week project. Genetic analysis will be done by J. Dubach and D. York. Immobilizations, health, and reproductive evaluations will be done by M. Briggs and B. Ament. Field Training will also be done by APCRO.

Time frame: February, 2005

Principal Investigator: D. York, M. Briggs

Collaborators: D. York, Hillsdale College, M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO, J. Dubach, Brookfield Zoo, Sarel van der Merwe, chair, African Lion Specialist Group; J. Flammand, WWF-South Africa.

Budget: $29,300.00

Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park Lion Reintroduction Assessment

Pride mother and two generations of offspring, Kwando, Botswana

The lion project concerning the reintroduction of Etosha lions into the HUP is to assess the developments of original work done by Briggs and Dubach when they did the original re-introduction evaluation of the Umfolozi Reserve lions and the Western Etosha National Park lions from Namibia. It was due to reports generated by them the move was made. This was to help supplement the genetically depapaurate animals of the Umfolozi Game Reserve with more genetically diverse animals from Namibia. This will allow for the assessment of the results of this move and give further clear direction for these types of translocations in the future. There will be complete genetic, health, reproductive potential, and disease evaluation of all animals immobilized.

Time frame: October 2005

Principal Investigator: M. Briggs, J. Flammand, J. Dubach

Collaborators: M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO; J. Dubach, Brookfield Zoo; J. Flammand, WWF-South Africa; KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Rangers

Budget: $29,300.00

Elephant Contraceptive Project

Adult female lion, Northern Botswana

This project is a slight departure from the usual work of the APCRO, as it does not directly involve working with free-ranging carnivores. The work being done is an attempt to humanely contracept elephants which will ultimately help the overall habitat and thus improve chance of survival of lions and other predators. This project is utilizing advanced hand-assisted laparoscopic techniques to sterilize female African elephants. The decrease in elephant births can help save tenuous and/or fragile ecosystems and thus, help the viability of carnivore populations.

Time frame: current, ongoing

Collaborators: M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO

Annual Budget: $9,600.00

Etosha National Park Lion and Spotted Hyena Survey

This project is a follow-up reassessment of the work done by M. Briggs and J. Dubach with K. Venzke, P. Stander, L. Scheepers (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) from the early to mid 1990’s. This work will evaluate current disease prevalence and changes over time, as well as any genetic drift occurring.

This project, much like the West African Study, will involve significant amounts of training for the MET staff in Etosha. This will be conducted primarily by M. Briggs and B. Ament.

Time frame: January 2005-January 2006

Principal Investigator: M Briggs, APCRO

Collaborators: B. Ament, APCRO; F. Dumas, MET, J. Dubach, Brookfield Zoo.

Annual Budget: $23,900.00

Kunene Lion Genetic/Disease Evaluation

Young female leopard, Caprivi Strip, Namibia

The Kunene Lion Project is an ongoing study by P. Stander and L. Hanssen of the Predator Conservation Trust evaluating the populations of lions in the remote Kunene Region of Namibia. It will be APCRO’s involvement in the ongoing genetic evaluation of these animals as well as the disease surveillance.

Two field trips are necessary to help perform reproductive evaluations of these animals and will be an increase in participation.

Time Frame: May 2005 and May 2006

Principal Investigators: P. Stander, L. Hanssen, PCT.

Collaborators: M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO, J. Dubach, Brookfield Zoo.

Annual Budget: $17,400.00

Studying the Patterns and Mechanisms of Hair Loss Behind Tsavo's Distinctive Mane

Infamous Tsavo maneaters specimans from Chicago's Field Museum.

This project is an ongoing study involving a well established group of researchers from Chicago , New York , and Kenya .  The purpose is to understand if the unique mane less nature of the infamous lions of Tsavo.  APCRO's involvement will be to collect genetic and skin samples in Botswana and Namibia that will constitute "controls" for Kenyan samples.  This is a collaboration born from Patterson and Briggs association on other genetic collaboration and the ability to easily help one another in very distinct but important projects.

The sampling will not constitute separate field trips, however, it will add to the workload of the current studies and require extra samples to be brought back to the United States for their analysis.

Time Frame:  May and September 2005

Principal Investigators: R. Kays, NY State Museum, B. Patterson, Field Museum, J. Thornton, University of Bradford

Collaborators: M. Briggs, B. Ament, APCRO,

Annual Budget: $2500.00 + $2,500.00 = $5,000.00

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