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ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION - B - THE LION (Panthera leo)

United States Polar Offline
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Yes, there was a large spread of African Lions throughout southern Europe (Mediterranean) subsequently after the Cave Lion extinction. But there are accounts in ancient Britain of lions existing on the isle, but I am not sure if these lions were the African ones or some remnants of the Cave Lions that once lived there.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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The historical lions in the Southern Europe were Panthera leo persica, while the prehistoric lions across the entire Europe were Panthera spelaea spelaea.
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India brotherbear Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-29-2017, 03:05 AM by brotherbear )

(04-29-2017, 01:43 AM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: The historical lions in the Southern Europe were Panthera leo persica, while the prehistoric lions across the entire Europe were Panthera spelaea spelaea.

Were those European lions closely related to the Asiatic lions? That would seem to make sense.
Never mind the question. I just looked it up; P.l. persica is the Asiatic lion. Shows how little I know of lions.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-29-2017, 03:31 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

(04-29-2017, 03:01 AM)brotherbear Wrote: Were those European lions closely related to the Asiatic lions? That would seem to make sense.
Never mind the question. I just looked it up; P.l. persica is the Asiatic lion. Shows how little I know of lions.

The Holocene European lions were just another dispersed population of the Asiatic lions. Practically, they were Asiatic lions with thicker mane and longer fur because of living around the colder climate in Europe. Their size also depended on the contemporary ecosystems in Europe. Since a single subspecies could also have a lot of regional variation. For example, the Sundarbans tigers are smaller than other Bengal tigers, the Korean tigers were smaller than other Amur tigers. So it is possible for the Asiatic lions in Europe being somewhat larger than those of India.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-29-2017, 06:17 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

Check the historical Greek lion, they kinda looked like the Asiatic lion to me by judging the shape of their mane.



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author
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India brotherbear Offline
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http://www.strangehistory.net/2013/06/29...pean-lion/ 
 
The Last European Lion June 29, 2013
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Italy Ngala Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-17-2017, 03:23 AM by Ngala )

From Panthera: What Happened to Angola’s 1,000 Lions? by Paul Funston
June 15, 2017
 
Lions are languishing in Angola, a country still reeling and recovering from a devastating three-decades-long civil war that ended in 2002. The aftermath has further devastated the species, which was already experiencing catastrophic declines continent-wide. But new findings from Panthera have inspired a plan to restore lions and replenish populations of other large animals in the area, too.

A rare Angolan male lion pads gently past a Panthera camera trap.

*This image is copyright of its original author

In our new report—recently released and presented to Angola’s government—we have uncovered rich data about lions and other species throughout Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga National Parks, two of the national parks in Africa and major contributors to the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). The largest transboundary conservation region in the world, KAZA spans 520,000 km of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Botswana—similar in size to France—and houses one of Africa’s largest lion populations.
 
Astonishingly, we discovered that in these two parks—where lion numbers reached 1,000 just 12 years ago—as few as 10 lions now remain. This is likely due to the fact that lions have little to eat—few prey species remain due to bushmeat poaching. Smaller carnivores, however, were found to be faring better, with the survival of approximately 151 cheetahs, 518 leopards, and possibly even 600 African wild dogs.
 
Until this survey, little was known about the status of the lion in this and other Angolan parks and areas. What we did know, however, is that over the past 20 years, lions have succumbed to illegal killing, habitat loss, and poaching, with only 20,000 surviving individuals across the whole of Africa.

We were surprised by the large number of leopards caught on our Panthera camera traps in four sampling zones

*This image is copyright of its original author

Seeking answers and change, we signed a memorandum of understanding with Angola’s environment ministry in July 2015 giving us permission to start our research of the status of lions in Angola and training for local scientists.
 
Throughout the dry season months of 2015 and 2016, we used track counts and camera trap surveys to estimate distribution and abundance of lions and other large carnivores and their prey, documented human activities, and conducted an exploratory mission to identify areas that could serve as tourist destinations. We also looked at the human element behind the decimation of lion numbers—and proposed ways to protect ecosystems and unlock economic potential for the people sharing their land.

A spotted hyena mother carrying an elephant trunk back to its den to feed its cubs. This trunk was likely hacked off by poachers when butchering an elephant for its tusks.

*This image is copyright of its original author

We found that a complex brew of issues has contributed to the devastation of wildlife populations in Luengue-Luiana and Mavinga. People are living in the park as a long-term consequence of the civil war, during which they turned to hunting bushmeat to survive. Now, most residents are very poor and continue to hunt wildlife for nourishment and a way to make money.
 
Now that we have our new findings, Panthera is looking for support to engage communities in conservation efforts that will also improve their lives, including training game guards to monitor wildlife crime; incentivizing the voluntary submission of guns, gin traps and other tools used to hunt wildlife; and supporting communities to establish roads and tourism routes.

INBAC game scout retrieving an illegal and violent gin trap with Angolan trackers from the Mucusso community.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Stay tuned for more updates on our work to bring Angola’s 1,000 lions back.

Learn more about Project Leonardo—our initiative to boost Africa’s lions by 50 percent over the next 15 years.
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 10-06-2017, 04:18 PM by peter )

A FEW VIDEOS ABOUT MAN-EATING LIONS


The videos featuring in this post have been on the internet for some time, but not all were posted. Although three of them only scratched the surface, they do have reliable information on man-eating lions.

As to the last video. When Mocambique was suffering from all kinds of problems, people wanted to get out. Most of them decided for South Africa. The problem was South Africa didn't decide for them. For this reason, many refugees entered South Africa via Kruger. At night. Although they did avoid border control, they couldn't avoid lion control. Rangers think a few hundred could have been eaten. Although a few small prides were taken out, chances are that quite many lions were involved. The result was a, ehh, somewhat different attitude towards humans. I saw a number of lions that had attacked humans. The aggression of the male in the video largely was a result of circumstances (female), but he definitely compared to the captive lions I saw. 

Tanzania (first video) always had man-eating lions. In this respect, the situation today isn't different.      

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3PCd92fpN4 (Tanzania man-eater)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR__Ao6KcG0 (Tsavo man-eaters)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHIekOP8_gE (Tsavo man-eaters)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKdXSRnyTiQ (from a BBC-documentary)

The third video is by far the best. Not so long ago, a new technique was discovered that enables biologists to have a look into the past of the owner of a skull. It is about the teeth. Bruce Patterson, who wrote a great book about lions, explains how it is used. To keep a long story short. The two Tsavo lions consumed 35 people. Not 135. One of the two, the frontman, consumed 24 humans, whereas his partner consumed 11. The new technique is very interesting. I hope it will be used on the Sumatran skulls I measured.

But what about Patterson's great story? The original one. My advice is to see the video.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 10-06-2017, 04:18 PM by peter )

ETHIOPIAN MOUNTAIN LIONS


Here's 2 videos in which Ethiopian mountain lions feature. You most probably saw the first one, but second isn't bad as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT-TJbrE1DU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwWoWnYUcb0

Based on what I saw so far, Ethiopian mountain lions seem a bit smaller than elsewhere. The male in the first video, however, is well built and the longest lion skull I measured (408,00 mm. in greatest total length) was from Abessinia (now largely Ethiopia). Mountains and individual variation.
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Italy Ngala Offline
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A roaring trade? The legal trade in Panthera leo bones from Africa to East-Southeast Asia Williams et al., 2017

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Fig 1. Lion skeletons, skull and claws before being sent for taxidermy, and a box of cleaned and prepared lion bones ready for export to Southeast Asia (bottom right) (V.L. Williams).

Abstract:
"The African lion is the only big cat listed on CITES Appendix II, and the only one for which international commercial trade is legal under CITES. The trade in lion body parts, and especially the contentious trade in bones from South Africa to Asia, has raised concerns spanning continents and cultures. Debates were amplified at the 2016 CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP17) when a proposal to up-list lions to Appendix I was not supported and a compromise to keep them on Appendix II, with a bone trade quota for South Africa, was reached instead. CoP17 underscored a need for further information on the lion bone trade and the consequences for lions across the continent. Legal international trade in bones to Asia, allegedly to supply the substitute ‘tiger bone’ market, began in South Africa in February 2008 when the first CITES permits were issued. It was initially unclear the degree to which bones were sourced from captive-origin lions, and whether trade was a threat to wild lion populations. Our original assessment of the legal CITES-permitted lion bone trade from South Africa to East-Southeast Asia was for the period 2008–2011 (published 2015). In this paper, we consolidate new information that has become available for 2012–2016, including CITES reports from other African countries, and data on actual exports for three years to 2016 supplied by a freight forwarding company. Thus, we update the figures on the legal trade in lion bones from Africa to East-Southeast Asia in the period 2008–2016. We also contextualise the basis for global concerns by reviewing the history of the trade and its relation to tigers, poaching and wildlife trafficking. CITES permits issued to export bones escalated from ±314y-1 skeletons from 2008–2011, to ±1312y-1 skeletons from 2013–2015. South Africa was the only legal exporter of bones to Asia until 2013 when Namibia issued permits to export skeletons to Vietnam. While CITES permits to export ±5363 skeletons from Africa to Asia from 2008–2015 were issued (99.1% from South Africa; 0.7% from Namibia) (51% for Laos), actual exports were less than stated on the permits. However, information on actual exports from 2014–2016 indicated that >3400 skeletons were exported in that period. In total, >6000 skeletons weighing no less than 70 tonnes have been shipped to East-Southeast Asia since 2008. Since few wild lions are hunted and poached within South African protected areas, skeletons for the legal trade appear to be derived from captive bred lions. However, confirmation of a 116kg shipment from Uganda to Laos, and reports of lion poaching in neighbouring countries, indicate that urgent proactive monitoring and evaluation of the legal and illegal trade is necessary in African lion range states where vulnerable wild lion populations are likely to be adversely affected."
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Italy Ngala Offline
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( This post was last modified: 10-29-2017, 01:28 AM by Ngala )

Questionnaire survey of the pan-African trade in lion body parts Williams et al., 2017

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Table 1. Sub-regional division of African lion range states with extant, extinct and possibly extinct wild populations.
Countries in parentheses were not mentioned by any respondent in the survey. 

Abstract:
"The African lion is in decline across its range, and consumptive utilisation and trade of their body parts and skins has been postulated as a cause for concern. We undertook a pan-African questionnaire and literature survey to document informed opinion and evidence for the occurrence of domestic and international trade and consumption in African lion body parts across current and former range states. Sixty-five people from 18 countries participated in the online questionnaire survey (run from July 2014 to May 2015), with information provided for 28 countries (including 20 out of 24 countries believed to have extant populations). Respondents were experts within their professional spheres, and 77% had ≥6 years relevant experience within lion conservation or allied wildlife matters. Their opinions revealed wide sub-regional differences in consumptive use, drivers of trade, and access to lions that impact wild lion populations in different ways. Traditional medicine practices (African and Asian) were perceived to be the main uses to which lion body parts and bones are put domestically and traded internationally, and there is reason for concern about persistent imports from former lion range states (mainly in West Africa) for parts for this purpose. The domestic, rather than international, trade in lion body parts was perceived to be a bigger threat to wild lion populations. Parts such as skin, claws, teeth and bones are thought to be in most demand across the continent. The impact of international trade on wild populations was acknowledged to be largely unknown, but occasionally was judged to be ‘high’, and therefore vigilance is needed to monitor emerging detrimental impacts. Seventeen countries were nominated as priorities for immediate monitoring, including: South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Reasons for their selection include: prevalence of trophy hunting, ‘hot spots’ for poaching, active domestic trade in lion body parts, trade in curios for the tourist market, and histories of legal-illegal wildlife trade. This survey, and increased incident reports since mid-2015 of lion poisoning and poaching in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and sporadic poaching events in Uganda and Tanzania, are signalling an escalating trend in the trade of lion products that is an increasing threat to some national populations. The evidence is sufficient to make more detailed investigation of this trade a conservation priority."
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Italy Ngala Offline
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An assessment of the genetic diversity of the founders of the European captive population of Asian lion (Panthera leo leo), using microsatellite markers and studbook analysis Atkinson et al., 2017

Abstract:
"A European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) was established in the early 1990s, in order to manage a captive population of Asian lions (Panthera leo leo) within European zoos. The founders of this population comprised of nine individuals that originated from a captive population in India. During 2007–2009, 57 lions were born in the European captive population. Of these births, 35 individuals died within 20 days, three died within two months and one individual was euthanased at four months old. Indeed, over 50% of the total historical captive population died within 30 days of birth. The ‘European Studbook for the Asian Lion’ shows that the EEP founder population contains individuals from matings of full and half siblings, including all female founders.

It is probable that high levels of inbreeding within this captive population are causing high levels of stillbirths and infant mortality. Previous research has shown that there is limited genetic variation in the captive population in India. This study uses the same microsatellite markers to establish the level of genetic variation that was present when the EEP population was established in comparison with that observed in the Indian zoo population, from which it was derived. Only three of the 12 microsatellite markers, showing variation in the Indian captive population, showed bi-allelic heterozygosity in the EEP founders, indicating that most variation was not present during the establishment of the EEP population. Therefore, the future of the Asian lion EEP is compromised by lack of genetic variation and high levels of inbreeding, which can only be alleviated by importing further individuals with different genotypes from India."
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Italy Ngala Offline
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Postcard of early 1900 represent the skinning of a lion from Belgisch Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). Credits to Postalinter from Ebay.

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"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Canada Betty Offline
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Italy Ngala Offline
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Gabon is an extremely important place, with an extremely interesting fauna and ecosystem. A few days ago, the discovery of a hyena (see Animal News (Except Bigcats)). Now, the identity of the famous lion caught with camera trap in Batéké Plateau National Park, has been revealed.

Photo and information credits: Philipp Henschel 
"The genetic origin of our lone Gabon male lion is finally revealed. He is part of the ancestral Bateke population of Gabon/Congo, and possibly its last survivor. The detailed findings here in our new paper: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10592-017-1039-2"

*This image is copyright of its original author


No longer locally extinct? Tracing the origins of a lion (Panthera leo) living in Gabon Barnett et al., 2018

*This image is copyright of its original author

Fig. 3
Phylogenetic tree of cytochrome b for lions showing in detail the position of the lions from Plateaux Batéké, Odzala-Kokoua, and Franceville identified by stars. Other populations coloured in accordance with Fig. 1. Central lineage = Red; Western lineage = Orange; Northern lineage = blue; Eastern lineage = yellow. 

Abstract:
"Lions (Panthera leo) are of particular conservation concern due to evidence of recent, widespread population declines in what has hitherto been seen as a common species, robust to anthropogenic disturbance. Here we use non-invasive methods to recover complete mitochondrial genomes from single hair samples collected in the field in order to explore the identity of the Gabonese Plateaux Batéké lion. Comparison of the mitogenomes against a comprehensive dataset of African lion sequences that includes relevant geographically proximate lion populations from both contemporary and ancient sources, enabled us to identify the Plateaux Batéké lion as a close maternal relative to now extirpated populations found in Gabon and nearby Congo during the twentieth century, and to extant populations of Southern Africa. Our study demonstrates the relevance of ancient DNA methods to field conservation work, and the ability of trace field samples to provide copious genetic information about free-ranging animals."
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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