GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATION IN LECHWE (KOBUS LECHE GRAY) IN ZAMBIA

GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATION IN LECHWE (KOBUS LECHE GRAY) IN ZAMBIA INTRODUCTION Little has been reported of geographical variations within species of African ungulates apart from a few external features like coloration and size of horns. When new species and subspecies are described they are often based on these external characters. Many studies have shown, however, that such external features of mammals as coloration and size and shape of horns are greatly dependent on environmental and variable genetic factors (e.g. Gabon, 1958; Zawidzka, 1958; Mystkowska, 1966; Sidorowicz, 1958, 1960) and are not necessarily reliable taxonomic characters. One of the accepted and best methods of studying geographical variation within mammal species is the analysis of measurements of a series of skulls. It was felt that this method should be used to investigate the status of the various populations (subspecies ?) of lechwe in Zambia. This is part of a wider series of studies on this antelope that are being carried out in Zambia. Lechwe antelope comprise two distinct species in Africa. The lechwe Kobus leche Gray is found in Botswana, the Caprivi Strip, Angola, Zambia and Zaire (Benson, 1969 ; Dorst and Dandelot, 1970; Smithers, 1971). (1) Department of Biology, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 2379, Lusaka, Zambia. (2) Present http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammals de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Walter de Gruyter
ISSN
0025-1461
eISSN
1864-1547
DOI
10.1515/mamm.1976.40.1.69
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Little has been reported of geographical variations within species of African ungulates apart from a few external features like coloration and size of horns. When new species and subspecies are described they are often based on these external characters. Many studies have shown, however, that such external features of mammals as coloration and size and shape of horns are greatly dependent on environmental and variable genetic factors (e.g. Gabon, 1958; Zawidzka, 1958; Mystkowska, 1966; Sidorowicz, 1958, 1960) and are not necessarily reliable taxonomic characters. One of the accepted and best methods of studying geographical variation within mammal species is the analysis of measurements of a series of skulls. It was felt that this method should be used to investigate the status of the various populations (subspecies ?) of lechwe in Zambia. This is part of a wider series of studies on this antelope that are being carried out in Zambia. Lechwe antelope comprise two distinct species in Africa. The lechwe Kobus leche Gray is found in Botswana, the Caprivi Strip, Angola, Zambia and Zaire (Benson, 1969 ; Dorst and Dandelot, 1970; Smithers, 1971). (1) Department of Biology, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 2379, Lusaka, Zambia. (2) Present

Journal

Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammalsde Gruyter

Published: Jan 1, 1976

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