Kalahari lion

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Kalahari lion
Male Kalahari lion.jpg
Male Kalahari lion at a waterhole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammaliaia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera[1]
Species: Panthera leo
Subspecies: Panthera leo melanochaita[2]
Trinomial name
Panthera leo vernayi
Roberts (1948)[3]
  • Panthera leo bleyenberghi
  • Panthera leo krugeri

The Kalahari lion was considered to be a lion subspecies native to the Kalahari Region in Southwest Africa, with the taxonomic name "Panthera leo vernayi."[3] However, a map of subspecies of lions, provided by Haas et al. (2005), suggests that lions in the Kalahari Region are of two subspecies: Panthera leo krugeri and Panthera leo bleyenberghi.[4] Otherwise, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (2016) proposed that Southern African lions be grouped under Panthera leo melanochaita.[2]


'Black-maned' Cape lions, which were related to extant Kruger lions, may have been closely related to Kalahari lions.[5][6] Given the rather close relationships between Southern and Eastern African lions, it was proposed that they should be grouped together as Panthera leo melanochaita, separate from Panthera leo leo, but some taxonomic issues are yet to be solved for this.[2]

Physical characteristics[edit]

A male with a partially black or dark mane, on a prowl in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Roderigues (1997) said that number of males in the Kalahari xeric savannah had black manes. He also said that they were lighter than lions in Mesic habitats, yet taller at the shoulder than them.[7] However, according to Smuts et al. (1980), lions in the Kalahari, Zimbabwe and Kruger National Park (South Africa) were heavier than East African lions, on average.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 546–548. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c Henschel, P.; Bauer, H.; Sogbohoussou, E. & Nowell, K. (2016). "Panthera leo (West Africa subpopulation". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  3. ^ a b Geptner, V. G., Sludskij, A. A. (1972). Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Vysšaia Škola, Moskva. (In Russian; English translation: Heptner, V.G., Sludskii, A. A., Komarov, A., Komorov, N.; Hoffmann, R. S. (1992). Mammals of the Soviet Union. Vol III: Carnivores (Feloidea). Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington DC).
  4. ^ a b 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. 
  5. ^ Yamaguchi, N. (2000). The Barbary lion and the Cape lion: their phylogenetic places and conservation. African Lion Working Group News 1: 9–11.
  6. ^ Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N.; Barnes, I.; 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Kalahari xeric savanna". Worldwildife.org. 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  8. ^ Smuts, G.L.; Robinson, G.A.; Whyte, I.J. (1980). "Comparative growth of wild male and female lions (Panthera leo)". Journal of Zoology. 190 (3): 365–373. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1980.tb01433.x.