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Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2016)

Demographic characteristics of lion (Panthera leo) in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

Beukes, Barend Otto

Titre : Demographic characteristics of lion (Panthera leo) in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

Auteur : Beukes, Barend Otto

Université de soutenance : Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Grade : Master of Technology (MTech) Nature Conservation 2016

Résumé
Lions are threatened across their natural range. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP), comprising the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP ; South Africa) and Gemsbok National Park (GNP ; Botswana), is a stronghold for the species. Population size and demography of lions in the KGNP has been addressed in four historic studies. Studies in mid-1970 and 1990 reported a female biased population whereas in 2010 the sex structure was skewed towards males (56%). The bias in sex ratios towards males was first observed in cubs and sub-adults in 2001 and later, in 2010, throughout the population. Furthermore, in the 2010 assessment of the lion population, a smaller proportion of cubs (< 2 yrs) were observed in comparisons to the preceding studies (10% vs. ? 23%). The skew in age and sex structures that were observed in the KGNP led to concerns over the long-term sustainability of the greater KTP lion population. The lion population carries further risks associated with the stochastic, arid environment, in which the KTP lion population persists. Human-lion conflict on the borders of the KTP and anthropogenic alterations of the environment further threaten lion demographic stability.

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