Lions have been lost from a huge area in Africa. Already extinct in 26 countries in Africa, there are perhaps as few as 15,000 lions left. Furthermore, most of these are in a small handful of reserves.
Between the Selous, Serengeti, Ruaha, Kruger and the greater Kalarhari zambezi transfrontier park are represented perhaps as high as 14,000.
This means that other reserves that still host lion tend to have very small populations with the inherent risks of inbreeding that this brings.
You will notice that on this list of lion ecosystems, none are in west Africa. This is unfortunately not a mistake. Recent analysis of the Genetics of western African lions has proved something that has been suspected for centuries. The west African lion is not the same species as the eastern and southern lion, in fact these populations are relict populations left behind as the Asiatic lion was pushed back into its home in India. In actual fact the “Asiatic lion” or “Indian Lion” once had a huge range that took in much of Europe, north Africa and Asia.Continue reading “A recent assessment only found as few as 34 wild lions left in Nigeria, how long can they hang on”