The home range of an animal, that area which an animal traverses and in which it exists, may seem simple from afar to discern, yet holds mysteries for many species. One species may be contained in a home range that is dependent or independent upon other species or even its own species in a specific environment.
Panthera leo, or African lions have a home range that overlap, yet the reasoning has not always been certain. Benhamou et al studied the interactions of lions as they moved independently of each other, jointly, or in avoidance of each other as a way to study the home range overlaps. The goal of these researchers was to uncover the interactions within and layout of home ranges of the lions and see how it might apply to the known behavior of this species.
Using GPS tracking of 55 lions, the researchers monitored the lions in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe over 7000 km². The main focus was to study the lions in a specific space and a specific time, so that not only their home ranges would be detected, but that their interactions could be adequately measured. It was found that for the most part, except for one scenario of avoidance, most of the lions tended to move independently of each other. Sometimes, the lions would move their home ranges such that they did not overlap. However, the researchers reported that the overlapping of lions was somewhat common, which also assists the findings that the lions often move independently of one another in their home ranges.
Posted by Michael Dailing (A-week 1)