Barbary Lion

Lost lion populations going unnoticed

Research reveals that not only could the now-extinct Barbary Lion have persisted until the 1960s but also that it was left unnoticed for over a decade.

Published in open access journal, PLoS ONE, the research by conservationists at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) found authentic records of lions existing in North Africa as late as 1956; considerably later than the well-quoted accounts of the 1920s and 1940s.

Using information gathered from old hunting records, photographs, museum specimens, published articles and recent interviews, the research by Dr Simon Black and Dr David Roberts also revealed a lion’s behaviour does not change as populations get smaller. Instead lions continue to form prides even up until they become extinct.

The paper is co-authored by Dr Amina Fellous – Agence Nationale pour la Conservation de la Nature, Algeria and Dr Nobuyuki Yamaguchi – Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Qatar.

The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology is part of the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation.

For more information contact: Katie Newton.