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Ecology Unit Case Study: Serengeti Lion Population Study. Panthera leo. “They say that cats have nine lives, but they don’t say that about the Serengeti lion. Life is hard and precarious on this unforgiving landscape”. Warm Up.
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Case Study: Serengeti Lion Population Study
“They say that cats have nine lives, but they don’t say that about the Serengeti lion. Life is hard and precarious on this unforgiving landscape”
Watch the following and make several observations about lions, their habitat, population, etc. Use terms you have learned about over the last few weeks.
Serengeti National Park encompasses 5,700 square miles of grassy plains and woodlands near the northern border of Tanzania.
Nowhere else in Africa supports quite such a concentrated abundance of hoofed meat, amid such open landscape, and therefore the Serengeti is a glorious place for lions
Why are grasslands so rich in wildlife?
Water, Food and Shelter
Life expectancy at birth is much lower, for any lion, if you consider the high mortality among cubs, half of which die before age two.
The number one cause of death for lions, in an undisturbed environment, is other lions.
Resources are limited, prides are territorial, and “it’s a tough out there.”
Ultimately why lions live in groups….
Holding territory is crucial, and the best territorial locations—hot spots, such as stream confluences, where prey tend to become concentrated—serve as incentive for social cooperation.
Other Pride Benefits:
Only 32,000 Lions Remain out of 100,000 Roaming Africa in the 1960s
Africa’s once-thriving savannahs are undergoing massive land-use conversion and burgeoning human population growth.
Some 24,000 of the continent’s remaining lions are primarily in 10 strongholds: 4 in East Africa and 6 in southern Africa
Over 6,000 of the remaining lions are in populations of doubtful long-term viability
Lion populations in West and central Africa are the most acutely threatened, with many recent local extinctions, even in nominally protected areas.
For rural Tanzanians the threat of lion attack rises and falls with the phases of the moon, the nocturnal predators favoring the darkest nights. But whether the night is dark or bright, villagers without electricity or plumbing have to walk to the outhouse or to get water and firewood. People have even been attacked inside their homes.
6) Lions in western Africa are doing the best in terms of population size.
7) The African Savannah was once larger than the United States.
8) The number one impact humans have on lions is trophy hunting.
9) It is common for all the females in a pride to be related to one another.
10) A large number or cubs are killed by other lions.