Kobus leche ssp. anselli 

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. anselli Cotterill, 2005
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Upemba Lechwe
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon was described as a distinct species by Cotterill (2005), based on the evolutionary species concept, but it is here regarded as a subspecies of Kobus leche: Upemba Lechwe (K. l. anselli). The other subspecies are: Black Lechwe (K. l. smithemani); Kafue Lechwe (K. l. kafuensis); Red Lechwe (K. l. leche); and Robert's Lechwe (K. l. robertsi).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
Upemba Lechwe is listed as Critically Endangered as numbers of the only population in south-eastern DR Congo have declined from about 20,000 in the 1980s to less than 1,000, mainly as a result of poaching.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Upemba Lechwe (K. l. anselli) occurs in the Upemba wetlands in the Kamalondo Depression in south-eastern DR Congo (Cotterill 2005).

For the distribution map, see the species-level assessment: Kobus leche.
Countries occurrence:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Upemba Lechwe declined from about 20,000 in the 1980s to less than 1,000 individuals (Cotterill 2005). There are no subsequent reports.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:600-1000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This taxon lives in wetland margins, flooded grassland and peripheral light woodlands (Jeffery and Nefdt 2013). Upemba Lechwe are grazers, feeding mainly on floodplain and aquatic grasses.
Generation Length (years):6.4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Upemba Lechwe are hunted primarily for meat (Cotterill 2005).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Poaching is the primary reason for the dramatic decline in numbers of the Upemba Lechwe (Cotterill 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Upemba Lechwe occurs in the western part of Upemba National Park.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Cotterill, F.P.D. 2005. The Upemba lechwe, Kobus anselli: an antelope new to science emphasizes the conservation importance of Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Zoology (London) 265: 113 -132.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-2. Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2017).

Jeffery, R. and Nefdt, R. 2013. Kobus leche Southern Lechwe. In: J.S. Kingdon & M. Hoffmann (ed.), The Mammals of Africa. VI. Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer, and Bovids, pp. 449-455. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Kobus leche ssp. anselli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T136937A50198198. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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