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Lion Hunting and Trophy Quality Records in Zambia for the Period 1967-2000: Will the Trends in Trophy Size Drop as Lion Population Declines?

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2014.44019    3,610 Downloads   5,275 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Data on lion skull measurements taken were collected and analyzed to determine trends in trophy size as an indicator of population size, and area of origin among the concessioned hunting areas in Zambia for the period 1967-2000. A comparison of trophy quality was also made with Tanzania and Zimbabwe which were the other two key sources of lion trophies in Africa. It was assumed that a comprehensive analysis of lion trophy sizes obtained from trophy hunting would be used as an indicator of hunting pressure on lion populations in Zambia. This approach was used because trophy size is an index of abundance particularly for species such as lion which are difficult to count using conventional census methods. Record lion trophies from Safari Club International rating were also collected and assessed to compare trophy quality obtained from Zambia and those of Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the same period 1967-2000 (33 years). Results obtained suggested that Zambia’s contribution to the record trophies under Safari Club International did not decline in the intervening period 1967-2000 and could not be used as an effective indicator of lion population in Zambia. At regional level, Zambia had second highest 24%, after Tanzania 56%, while Zimbabwe was third, 20%. It was found that the size of skulls could not be used as an effective indicator of population size as the record trophies did not decline while the population was alleged to have declined on the continent. Other factors, such as genetic, low prey densities, snaring, poisoning and problem animal control needed to be investigated to determine their impact on the lion population status.

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Chomba, C. , Senzota, R. , Chabwela, H. and Nyirenda, V. (2014) Lion Hunting and Trophy Quality Records in Zambia for the Period 1967-2000: Will the Trends in Trophy Size Drop as Lion Population Declines?. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 182-195. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.44019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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