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Social Variation of Lions in a Male-Depopulated Area in Zambia

Koji Yamazaki
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 490-497
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3802066
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802066
Page Count: 8
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Social Variation of Lions in a Male-Depopulated Area in Zambia
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Abstract

Lions (Panthera leo) are a principal attraction for both safari hunting and photographic tourism, principal sources of revenue in the Luangwa Valley in eastern Zambia. I studied 6 lion prides in the Valley during 1989-91 to determine how high harvest of adult male lions influenced social behavior. Adult male lions are subject to significant hunting pressure influencing the number of adult male lions (ad M/ad F = 107-0.33) and male coalition size (0.67-1.50 ad M/pride). I observed the following social system: (1) ranges of pride males did not cover the entire pride ranges and were not confined to a specific pride range; (2) copulation occurred between females and males from different prides; and (3) at least 1 pride male gained additional companions during his pride tenure. This social system differs from those found in previous studies of lion populations, and it permits a limited number of males to manage more females, counterbalancing high male harvest.

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