Transvaal lion

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Transvaal lion
Male Lion and Cub Chitwa South Africa Luca Galuzzi 2004 edit1.jpg
Lions with a kill at Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
Species: Panthera leo
Subspecies: P. l. krugeri
Trinomial name
Panthera leo krugeri
(Roberts, 1929)

The Transvaal lion (Panthera leo krugeri), also known as the Southeast African lion, is a subspecies of the Lion that lives in southern Africa, including Kruger National Park and the Kalahari Region.[1] It is named after the Transvaal region in South Africa.

Physical characteristics[edit]

White lions owe their coloring to a recessive gene; they are rare forms of the subspecies Panthera leo krugeri.

The male Southeast African lion has usually a well-developed mane. Most of them are black-maned as well. Males are around 2.6–3.20 metres long including the tail. The females are 2.35–2.75 metres. The weight of males is generally 150–250 kg, while the females are 110–182 kg. They have a shoulder height of 0.92–1.23 metres.

White lion[edit]

Main article: White lion

White lions are actually color mutation of the Transvaal lions. Leucism occurs only in this type of lion, but is quite rare. They are found in a few wildlife reserves and mostly in zoos worldwide.

Evolutionary history[edit]

According to recent genetic research, the extinct Cape lion, formerly described as a separate subspecies, is not significantly different from other South African lions. Therefore the Cape lion would have represented the southernmost population of the Transvaal lion.[2]

Conservation status[edit]

Captive Transvaal lion in Philadelphia Zoo.

There are more the 2000 lions of this subspecies in the well protected Kruger National Park.[3] In addition about 100 lions are registered under the name P. l. krugeri by the International Species Information System. These animals are derived from animals captured in South Africa.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haas, S.K.; Hayssen, V.; Krausman, P.R. (2005). "Panthera leo" (PDF). Mammalian Species 762: 1–11. doi:10.1644/1545-1410(2005)762[0001:PL]2.0.CO;2. 
  2. ^ Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N.; Barnes, I. and Cooper, A. (2006). "Lost populations and preserving genetic diversity in the lion Panthera leo: Implications for its ex situ conservation" (PDF). Conservation Genetics 7 (4): 507. doi:10.1007/s10592-005-9062-0. 
  3. ^ The Kruger Nationalpark Map. Honeyguide Publications CC. South Africa 2004.
  4. ^ Barnett, R.; Yamaguchi, N.; Barnes, I.; and Cooper, A. (2006). "The origin, current diversity and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo)". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 273 (1598): 2119–25. doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3555. PMC 1635511. PMID 16901830. 

External links[edit]