The Ecology of the African Lion (Panthera leo masaicus) of Serengeti
Kariaga, Billy M.
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The study of the evolution and distribution of plants and animals, or biogeography, is one of the many brandies of the subject. Geographers are interested in the distribution of a spedes from the time it first appears on the surface of the earth and how it subsequently colonises various habitats. While botanists and zoologists study the anatomical and physiological evolutionary changes of an organism through time, geographers are mainly concerned with the spatial and temporal distribution of the organism. Understanding the factors which determine this distribution is therefore of utmost importance. This paper describes the distribution of the lion, Panthera leo and then gives a detailed analysis of the ecology of the Serengeti lion Panthera leo masaicus. An attempt has been made to discuss both the biotic and abiotic factors that affect the survival of this great carnivore. The Serengeti ecological unit in northern Tanzania has been selected because it has the greatest density of lions and other wild animals anywhere in the world. Together with the adjacent Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, they have about half the lions on the earth’s surface.