Kobus leche ssp. leche 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Kobus leche ssp. leche Gray, 1850
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Red Lechwe
Taxonomic Notes: Red Lechwe (Kobus leche leche) is one of five subspecies of Southern Lechwe (Kobus leche), following Ansell and Banfield (1979), Birungi and Arctander (2001) and Cotterill (2005). The other subspecies being: Black Lechwe (K. l. smithemani); Kafue Lechwe (K. l. kafuensis); Robert's Lechwe (K. l. robertsi) and Upemba Lechwe (K. l. anselli).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-09-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Red Lechwe are estimated to number at least 80,000 individuals (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013) with the majority (around 85%) in the Okavango Delta, a decline from the 98,000 estimated by East (1999). This equates to a projected 24% decline over three generations (19 years), therefore approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under A4.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Red Lechwe (K. l. leche) is found in the Okavango Delta, and the Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe system of northern Botswana; the Okavango, Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe, Mashi, and Zambezi River systems of north-east Namibia; and the upper Zambezi and middle Kafue of Zambia; the Cuando system of SE Angola and the Cuanza and Luando Rivers of Central Angola (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013).

For the distribution map, see the parent species assessment: Kobus leche.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Namibia; Zambia
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Red Lechwe are estimated to number at least 80,000 individuals (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013), a decline from the 98,000 estimated by East (1999). The majority of the population occurs in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, where numbers were estimated in the 1990s to be 69,500. Numbers in Botswana's Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe system appear to have declined from 10,000-15,000 in the 1970s (Williamson 1979) to 2,310 in the mid-1990s. Populations of Red Lechwes elsewhere are not well documented, but significant populations remain in the Liuwa Plains (including the upper Zambezi floodplains) and Busanga Swamps of Zambia (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013). Populations are generally stable or increasing in protected areas and declining elsewhere.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:50000-60000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Prefer floodplain grasslands, shallow water margins of floodplains and swamps (less than 1 m deep), shallow water meadows and light woodlands and termitaria grasslands on their periphery (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013).
Generation Length (years):6.4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Red Lechwe are hunted primarily for meat but also for sport (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hunting, encroachment and habitat destruction pose growing threats to the conservation of Red Lechwe (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occur in the Moremi G.R. and Chobe N.P. (Botswana), Sioma Ngwezi, Liuwa Plains and Kafue National Parks, and the West Zambezi and Kasonso-Busanga Game Management Areas (Zambia), Kameia N.P. and the Luando, Mavinga and Luiana Game Reserves (Angola), and the Western Caprivi G.R. and the Mahango Game Park (Namibia) (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013).

A significant proportion (>80%) of Red Lechwe occur outside national parks and game reserves. This subspecies is therefore dependent on the effective protection and management of its critical wetland regions, such as the Okavango, Linyanti, Busanga and Caprivi.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Kobus leche ssp. leche. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T11044A50190221. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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