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Welcome To The Mara Predator Project

The Mara Predator Project is building an identification database of lions in and around the conservancies north of the Masai Mara National Reserve. By tracking individuals, we can identify pride home ranges and population trends. This allows us to apply effective conservation techniques.

Latest News

23rd March 2015

We've now published some important research from our long-term lion study in the Mara Conservancies. 

Our new study in the Journal of Applied Ecology, conducted together with The University Of Glasgow, found that the community conservancies of the Mara ecosystem play a vital role in the survival of lions. This is great news for lion conservation - with widespread declines outside of small, fenced areas, we have shown that free-ranging lions have a future without fences.  

Conservancy membership provides households with financial benefits from wildlife tourism and engenders an attitude of coexistence with wildlife. The net effect is that people become more tolerant of lions because they attract tourists and bring an alternative source of income to landowners.

Sara Blackburn, lead author on the paper said: “The most important finding in this study is that community conservancies are a viable way to protect wildlife and pose an alternative solution to building fences. If we are concerned about the population of lions, we need to let the people who actually live with the lions benefit from their existence.”

The study illustrates that community conservancies are a good strategy for the future protection of lion populations and provides a practical solution to the problem, especially in areas where the expense of fencing is not a realistic option.

Our research is hitting the news and a comprehensive summary can be found here

An online version of the paper can be accessed here

30th July 2013

Important Anouncement: The Mara Predator Project has now completed field activities and our researchers are now in the process of analysing our data. The project was instigated and developed to provide conservation-based research on one of East Africa's most important lion populations and we are now able to provide evidence-based advice regarding on successfully maintaining viable lion populations in the region. 

We would like to thank all of those who participated in the research including all of the lodges, managers and guides who made this work possible. We would also like to express our gratitude to our funders and supporters. 

This website will stay active to retain the historical information of our study lions. If you saw lions within our study area from 2008-2013, and possibly dates either side of this period, we still welcome you to browse our profiles and identify you lion. 

Asante sana!


For more information and for regular updates, don't forget to visit our facebook page.


You can take part in the project by photographing lions and reporting your sightings to us by following the steps below. For more information, browse our 'How to' guides or click here to read more about the project and Living With Lions.

1. Identify Your Lion

Have you seen a lion in or around the Mara North Conservancy and surrounding conservation areas, and want to identify it? Use the left column to enter the characteristics of your lion to begin your search. You can use the 'How To' guides to help you.

Need help identifying lions? Click here

Need help ageing lions? Click here

2. Submit your Sighting and Photographs

Fill in the form to tell us about a lion that you have seen and submit your images. Don't forget to try and identify your lion first! We will then confirm the sighting and post it on the lion's profile page.

Need help reporting your sighting? Click here

Guide 1: Photographing and Identifying lions

download (500kb)

Guide 2: Ageing lions

download (500kb)

Download a blank ID sheet

Download (225kb)

You can also pick up a booklet with the above information at your lodge.

You can read about the day-to-day lives of our study lions on our blog. If you've managed to identify your lion, it's a perfect way to keep up to date. 

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