A Framework for the Ex Situ Reintroduction of the African Lion (Panthera leo)

by Open Science Repository Natural Resources and Conservation
(July 2013)


Ex situ reintroduction remains controversial in conservation scientific debate and practice, and is regarded as a last resort method. It has been argued that this conservational strategy should now be considered, alongside existing in situ practices, for the African lion (Panthera leo). The rapid decline of this culturally important species is symptomatic of the impact a burgeoning human population and their related activities have upon the lion. Published evaluations of reintroductions for all animal groups show relatively poor survival rates per se, particularly when the released animal is captive-bred. In this paper we consider contributing factors to failed and successful captive-bred reintroductions and revisit previous ex situ efforts to release the African lion into the wild. Whilst past attempts to release captive lions into the wild are largely undocumented in the scientific literature, they have valuable lessons to offer future undertakings. We propose a framework for the ex situ reintroduction of the lion based on scientific guidance and previous endeavours.

Keywords: ex situ reintroduction, African lion (Panthera leo), conservation, release.

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A Framework for the Ex Situ Reintroduction of the African Lion (Panthera leo)

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