3 Lion Generations

Wow, 3 generations of the Sungue Pride seen together this week! Cleopatra with 4 of the 2014 cubs and… guest of honor Mozambique (the older male here and a Sungue cub of 2013.) Cleopatra is Mozambique’s grandmother and mother and aunt to the cubs seen in the background. The cubs were curious and wanted to socialize with Mozambique but that resulted in him being walloped each time by the fiercely protective Cleopatra. An intriguing interaction!

Three generations of the Sungue pride

Three generations of the Sungue pride

A Little Help from our Friends

How we accomplish all that we do in any given day in Gorongosa… by working together. This morning Gorongosa Guides – Simba and Montinho – helped us check in on 2 groups of lions (while also sharing those sightings with guests to the Park). Thank you, Gorongosa Guides!

Montinho (Gorongosa Guides) and Michel (Projecto Leões Intern) just returning from checking in on Nginga the lion

Montinho (Gorongosa Guides) and Michel (Projecto Leões Intern) just returning from checking in on Nginga the lion

A New Phase for the Sungue Pride

Flavia has split from the pride (and her 14 month old cubs) and begun mating with the newly arrived Xivulo Coalition. Some of Gorongosa’s safari guides captured this fierce moment ! This male (we are calling Xivulo M2) showed up out of the blue with one of the Park’s oldest males a few months ago. They have seized the core area of the Sungue range and have been mating with two of Nginga’s recently claimed courts – Flavia and Pandora. New cubs are likely on the horizon this year or early next year – stay tuned!

Xivulo M2 (male) and Flavia (collared female) mate after Flavia splits from her pride.

Xivulo M2 (male) and Flavia (collared female) mate after Flavia splits from her pride.

Back from the Field

We just got back to camp after some intense field work to find that the WildCam images are 28% complete! That makes us so happy to have an extended team around the world working with us. We will be posting nuggets from our field diaries over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Here’s one from September 13th:

We were setting up trail cameras along the Urema river today, deep in a remote part of the park when we noticed that we had some curious onlookers. This herd of buffalo seemed to wonder what we were doing with these funny looking cameras on their trees. These buffalo may be from one of the groups that were relocated to Gorongosa to help boost the buffalo population that was almost wiped out during the war. 85 buffalo were relocated from other parks between 2006 and 2009 and their population is on the rise. We hope you find some of these beautiful creatures in the WildCam photos!

A herd of buffalo look on as we set up these funny looking cameras.

A herd of buffalo look on as we set up these funny looking cameras.

A Wild Welcome from Gorongosa National Park, Central Mozambique

WildCam Gorongosa started as a fledgling idea in 2012, to deploy cameras out in a remote, mostly unexplored wilderness — Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique. Over those exciting beginning months we began documenting the life (especially the night-life) that was racing back from the brink after a devastating civil-war.  It’s here that one of Africa’s greatest wildlife restoration projects is unfolding offering us important insights in to the science of recovery and a vision of restoration for protected areas across the globe.

Since we launched our field-cameras in late 2012 we have never tired of pouring through the countless photos – in fact we can hardly wait to get back to camp and discover what wonders old and new we captured on “film.”  Will you be the one to discover new lion prides, the first leopard in the Park, or some unusual new behavior?  As you leap in to explore Wild Cam Gorongosa you too will get hooked on that thrill of discovery.

I am looking through trail camera photos in camp at Gorongosa.

We often look through trail camera photos when we return to camp to see what discoveries they reveal.

As we have steadily increased the numbers of cameras we have out in this breathtaking national park, we are now generating hundreds-of-thousands of photographs each year and we need your help!  Wild Cam Gorongosa for the first-time ever makes all this data available to you – no matter where in the world you might be, you will now be part of this adventure in Central Mozambique.

On behalf of our entire field team out here in Mozambique and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute – welcome!  We hope your journey through Gorongosa becomes one of discovery and hope in restoration, as it has for our team.

Paola, Rui, Celina, Isaquel, Tonga, and Fernandinho.  And, Mike Pingo (our intrepid helicopter pilot).

Celina, myself, and Domingas

(L to R) Celina, Paola, and Domingas

(L to R) Domingas, Maria, Celina, Isaquel

(L to R) Domingas, Maria, Celina, and Isaquel