3 December

Boys will be boys

An update on the study's territorial males

Recently the territories in our study area have been quite stable, with the resident males all holding their territories for quite a long time, however things have started to move around a little bit more of late. Down at Ndutu it is still the Coffee Boys, Espresso, Latte and Mocha who are ruling the roost. They are still holding the prime territory around the big marsh and two trees, and they don’t look like they are going anywhere any time soon! In the area near twin hills we used to have the Tea Boys – Tetley and Twinings but it has been a while since they were last seen and there have been reports of three new young males moving into the area. We haven’t managed to get any photos of these new males - if anyone thinks they have some and would like to send them into the Cheetah Watch Campaign then they would be gratefully received!  It is possible that they could be Rolls, Royce and Morgan; these three grew up in the area around Ndutu and had been seen scent-marking near Kusini, but it could be they have moved over to twin hills instead, equally it could be three entirely new males who have moved in - we’ll just have to watch and wait and hope to get some more information soon!

Further north, there has also been some moving around. It looks as though Maurus and Jerome, the two males who held the simba kopjes territory during the dry season and then moved to gol kopjes during wet season for the past several years seem to have disappeared. Maurus was seen on a few occasions last year without Jerome and since then has not been seen for quite a long time, meaning that they might have died. The two had reached the ripe old age (at least by male cheetah standards) of 9 years old so they had a good run while it lasted! So far there hasn’t been any sign of anyone taking over the simba kopjes territory but Crumble seems to be determined to take over the gol kopjes area. He has held the area for a few months now, but as this has mostly been during dry season, when this is not a very hotly contested area, this may not mean too much, it will be over the next few months that he is really put to the test!

Crumble chilling out at Gol Kopjes