West African lions (Panthera leo senegalensis) is a subspecies of the lion, native West Africa. Recent genetic studies indicate that the West and Central African lion form a different clade of the lion and the lion may have more to Asia than lions from southern or eastern Africa. Genetic specificity is particularly interesting, because regional endangered lions in West Africa.
Lions from western and central Africa is believed to be smaller than a lion from South Africa. It also suggests that they have smaller manes, live in small groups, and they may also differ in the shape of their skull. In the district Pendjari National Park, located in the West African region lion, almost all men who maneless or have very weak manes.
West African lions circulated in West Africa south of the Sahara from Senegal in the west to the Central African Republic to the east. Other subspecies (Pl azandica) or traditional Lion Northeastern Congo is described from northeastern DRK. Lions are rare in West Africa and can be Critically Endangered in the region. West African lions in captivity relatively rare as well. In 2006 there were only 13 animals, registered in the name of P. l. senegalensis.
There may be only 450 to 1.300 lions living in West Africa. In addition, there are about 550 to 1.550 in Central Africa. In both areas, the area occupied by the lion has been reduced to less than 15% of the historical area.
Largest West African lion population is found in the so-called WAP-Complex, a large system of protected areas designed especially by Arli, Pendjari, and W National Park in the countries of Burkina Faso, Benin, and Nigeria. Total population in the ecosystem is comprised between 140 and 300 lions. 100-400 other large population found in the ecosystem Benoue lion in Cameroon. Smaller populations in other reseves, like Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal, Guinea, Mali Protected Areas in Guinea, and Waza National Park in Cameroon.
In Nigeria, there is a small population remaining two, one in Kainji Lake National Park, which comprises around 24 lions, and one in Yankari Game Reserve, which comprises around 15. Residents in Kainji Lake may be connected with that of WAP-Complex. There may not be a lion live in the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are about 60 lions in the Virunga National Park and about 100 in the Garamba National Park, respectively. However, the lions are out of range, originally described for the West African lion.