2020-07 July Life History File

Make-e-Plan original dominant male Pi with the 2018 Kardashian litter . Photo by KMP visitor Laura Salamone-Maiden

This month’s Meerkatter highlights Make-e-Plan on the group’s four year anniversary.  This group was created by two Qunitessential females Bridget VQLF011 and Heatherleigh  VQLF018, and Zulus male Pi VZUM006.  Early on, this group was exposed to tuberculosis when two of the three Van Helsing males that immigrated into the group after dominant male Pi was predated, were infected with the disease.  Since the passing of these two males,  Make-e-Plan has been TB-free,  Current dominant male Banksia VVHM117 was the third Van Helsing male who immigrated into the group.  Banksia is the sole remaining individual born into Van Helsing.  Bridget has remained dominant female since the group’s inception whereas Heatherleigh went on to become dominant female of Namaqua.

Make-e-Plan current dominant male Banksia. Photo by KMP visitor Laura Salamone-Maiden

Gold Diggers had a setback in their habituation due to an unmarked wild female yearling emerging with the group one morning.  There is still no clear dominant female or male in the group.

Four of the five Lazuli pups that emerged last month are assumed predated.

Pregnant Make-e-Plan dominant female Bridget. Photo by KMP visitor Laura Salamone-Maiden

Find the July 2020 Life History file here.

Find the July 2020 Meerkatter here,


2020-06 June Life History File

Ubuntu Shrew. Photo by KMP visitor Laura Salamone-Maiden

This month Gold Diggers habitation improved considerably with the immigration of Ubuntu Shrew (VUBM018). As Shrew is bigger and older than all the other potential dominant males in the group, he is a strong contender for this position.

Lazuli finally has a new dominant male – Odin (VLM266), one of the three wild males who immigrated into the group after the former dominant male, Polon’s, death.

Elrond’s Council is now fully dye-marked.  The yearling Galadriel (VECF032), was the final individual to be dyed.  She is also assumed to be one of the mothers of the latest mixed litter along with the dominant female Tayl Baez (VBBF117).

Jaxx Shepard (VJXF127) was found dead, presumably from injuries she sustained from the cactus in which her body was found.

Jaxx Shepard.  Photo by KMP visitor Laura Salamone-Maidenbody was found.

The June 2020 Life History chart can be found here.

The June 2020 Meerkatter is here.

2020-05 May Life History File

Elrond’s Council with the May 2020 pups. Photo by Shaz Alderton, Life History Coordinator

A potential record number of pups in one litter may have occurred in Elrond’s Council this month as nine pups were seen emerging for the first time o the 25th.  While DNA samples from the pups have yet to be analyzed, it is thought that all of the pups were from dominant female Tayl Baez (VBBF117).  A more likely scenario is that this litter is a mixed litter from Tayl Baez and an undyed yearling female who was spotted occasionally in the group and was thought to be pregnant.

Elrond Council youngsters. Photo by meerkat volunteer Laurie Johnson.

Five other groups had births during this Kalahari winter month including Make-e-Plan, Namaqua, Ubuntu, Jaxx and Lazuli.

Click here for the May 2020 Life History chart.

Find the May 2020 Meerkatter here.

Namaqua dominant male Lewie with pups. Photo by meerkat volunteer Tal Kleinhause

2020-04 April Life History File

Lazuli Sigma’s VL1903 litter born March 2019. Photo by meerkat volunteer Jessica Granweiler.

Re-habituation of Lazuli continues and good progress has been made.  The group is now fully dye-marked.  Three wild males had immigrated into the group after dominant male, Polon (VJXM295), was predated making it impossible to follow the group and collect ad-lib data.  Both of dominant female Sigma’s (VLF230) pups born last month are last seen and assumed predated.

Seven pups of the original nine Zulu pups from potentially three different litters have survived and have had their first forage with the group. This increases the group total to 15 individuals.

Zulu’s dominant couple Scuzi and Spruddel. Photo by KMP visitor Coral Hanson

Significantly, two or three subordinate females’ were able to successfully give birth without being evicted by the dominant female Spruddel (VZUF028) who was also pregnant for a short time this month.

Find the April 2020 Life History chart here.

Click here for the April 2020 Meerkatter.