Mugie is one of the core study areas of the ‘Laikipia Predator Project’, a research study aimed at improving the conservation of large carnivores throughout Africa.
Across most of Africa, people have eradicated predators such as lions, wild dogs and hyenas, largely because theses animals are a threat to livestock. With human densities rising, even predators living inside national parks are threatened as reserve border areas are developed and settled.
Laikipia District is one of the few areas where people, livestock and predators coexist. The Laikipia Predator Project is aimed at understanding how such coexistence is possible. By studying the threat that predators pose to people’s livelihoods, and the threat that human activities pose to predators, the aim is to identify techniques & animal husbandry management practises that can be used to reduce the drastic rate of decline in the numbers of these now endangered animals.
On Mugie the project focuses mainly on lions, which come into the most serious conflict with livestock owners resulting in unlawful killing of them and other predators.
Radio-collars are fitted on some individual lions to help locate, identify and monitor their movements. Within Mugie radio-collars have deployed on various lion over the last 10 years and has helped in knowing/understanding so much more about lion population numbers, their movements and behaviour. This understanding has helped in reducing the numbers of livestock killed and therefore the number of lions that might have had to be removed in one way or another.
Mugie continues to work closely with the ‘Laikipia Predator Project’ and visitors to Mugie may be able to join in on tracking lions.