About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on Why do Leopards Cede Territory?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Great insight and observation of leopard behaviour James. It is true that living in modern times we loose what we are genetically programmed to be. We’ve got to go back to basics and live simply.

Darlene Knott
Master Tracker

Very interesting! Love the leopards!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Master Tracker

Interesting blog, James. Nanga has always been a favorite of mine, being one of the first leopards I saw at Londolozi back in 2010. While her territory is now smaller, I’m pleased she’s OK and still in the reserve. Am looking forward to seeing her next visit!

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Thank you very much, James, for the patterns of life of mother and daughter leopards. It makes so much sense. We MacNicols have learnt more about leopards than we ever dreamed we would since reading the articles every morning on our Londolozi blog. Wendy M

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James – what a great story teller you are. I so enjoyed learning about why leopards concede their territory to their daughters. Have a great day!


I can think of another reason perhaps. An older female whose core territory is surrounded by that of her daughters has ‘buffer’ states. In the case of another, strange, stronger female pitching up on the doorstep, she will have to get past the daughters domain to dispossess the old mother of her territory.

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

Feasible concepts, James. To instinctively survive individually along with our offspring via giving space and tolerance makes sense. Alas, nature has her mysterious reasons which attracts us all.

Michael Fleetwood
Master Tracker

Great article on the dynamics of the Mashaba Female, Moya/Nanga, and Makhomsava! Moya/Nanga was seen recently in the northern Sabi Sands (around Arathusa/Elephant Plains area) mating with Hukumuri (male). She recently killed one of the two cubs of Xidulu (the daughter of the Ingrid Dam Female born in September/October 2014).

James Tyrrell

Thanks for the update Michael

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

I found this fascinating as I wondered how the female offspring would find a territory and subsequently males to perpetuate their heritage.

It seems the new adult males have a more difficult time in carving out territory for themselves, although the Ndzanzeni male is hanging in there….

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Master Tracker

Really interesting James! Your explanations of behavior are very helpful. Pictures are easy but these kind of educational discourses really help us relate to what we are seeing. Well done!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Master Tracker

James, Your observations are not only interesting, they totally make sense. It is always scary to hear about the cubs when they are new, so it also makes sense that staying somewhat close to “family” is very smart!

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