Conservation agencies in Africa struggle to monitor their wildlife populations due to limited resources such as scientific support and financial constraints. The hunting industry within Africa is a large and lucrative business, yet the ability to monitor this form of utilization and ensure its sustainability is lacking. This research shows how it is possible to develop a remote monitoring center, which can use taxidermies as a source indicator for what is happening within the various hunting areas. By determining the age of death for an individual African lion (Panthera leo), one is able to analyze harvesting trends over time. These trends will act as an indicator as to the sustainability of the hunt.
This research developed an aging technique using the upper second premolar of the lion. Morphological, histological and radiographic tooth characteristics were examined and the rate of pulp closure as well as cementum line count proved the best two techniques to use. Two hundred and forty five teeth collected from across sub-Saharan Africa were aged and trends for Tanzania and South Africa over the last two decades were depicted. The conservation implications are encouraging as now one has a method of ensuring that not only are hunts sustainable, but that non-sustainable harvesting is curtailed.
Thesis (MTech. degree in Nature Conservation.)--Tshwane University of Technology, 2006.