Big Cat Diary, also known as Big Cat Week or Big Cat Live according to the format of the show, was a long-running nature documentary series on BBC television which follows the lives of African big cats in Kenya's Maasai Mara. The first series, broadcast on BBC One in 1996, was developed and jointly produced by Keith Scholey, who would go on to become Head of the BBC's Natural History Unit. Eight further series have followed, most recently Big Cat Live, a live broadcast from the Mara in 2008. The original presenters, Jonathan Scott and Simon King, were joined by Saba Douglas-Hamilton from 2002 onwards. Kate Silverton and Jackson Looseyia were added to the presenting team for Big Cat Live.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Big Cat Diary - Maasai Mara - Netflix
Maasai Mara National Reserve (also known as Maasai Mara, Masai Mara and by the locals as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Mara Region, Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara,” which is Maa (Maasai language) for “spotted,” an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area. It is globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes the following Group Ranches: Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.
Big Cat Diary - Research - Netflix
The Maasai Mara is a major research centre for the spotted hyena. With two field offices in the Mara, the Michigan State University based Kay E. Holekamp Lab studies the behavior and physiology of this predator, as well as doing comparison studies between large predators in the Mara Triangle and their counterparts in the eastern part of the Mara. Since 2008, Amanda Subalusky and Chris Dutton have been working in the Mara River Basin to help develop a trans-boundary river basin management plan between Kenya and Tanzania. In 2010, they had completed a flow assessment for the river to identify the river flows that are required to sustain the ecosystem and the basic needs of 1 million people who depend on its water. The Mara Predator Project also operates in the Masai Mara, cataloging and monitoring lion populations throughout the region. Concentrating on the northern conservancies where communities coexist with wildlife, the project aims to identify population trends and responses to changes in land management, human settlements, livestock movements and tourism. Sara Blackburn, the project manager, works in partnership with a number of lodges in the region by training guides to identify lions and report sightings. Guests are also encouraged to participate in the project by photographing lions seen on game drives. An online database of individual lions is openly accessible, and features information on project participants and focus areas. Since October 2012, the Mara-Meru Cheetah Project is working in the Mara monitoring cheetah population, estimating population status and dynamics, and evaluating the predator impact and human activity on cheetah behavior and survival. The head of the Project, Elena Chelysheva, was working in 2001-2002 as Assistant Researcher at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Maasai-Mara Cheetah Conservation Project. At that time, she developed original method of cheetah identification based on visual analysis of the unique spot patterns on front limbs (from toes to shoulder) and hind limbs (from toes to the hip), and spots and rings on the tail. Collected over the years, photographic data allows the project team to trace kinship between generations and build Mara cheetah pedigree. The data collected helps to reveal parental relationship between individuals, survival rate of cubs, cheetah lifespan and personal reproductive history. This work has never been done before and the team is sharing results with the Mara stakeholders and respondents. The ongoing research is a follow-up study, which will compare results with the previous one in terms of cheetah population status and effect of human activity on cheetah behavior and surviving. The project is working in affiliation with Kenya Wildlife Service, Narok and Transmara County Councils and with assistance of Coordinator of Maasai-Mara Cultural Village Tour Association (MMCVTA). The team is cooperating with Mara Hyena Project and working with managers and driver-guides from over 30 different Mara camps and lodges. Rangers and driver/guides are trained in cheetah identification techniques and provided with catalogues of the Mara cheetahs.
Big Cat Diary - References - Netflix