The African lion (Panthera leo) population is diminishing rapidly, approximately 43 percent since 1993. The species is currently listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With numerous threats to current populations including human conflict, prey depletion, and habitat loss, the African lion is in danger of becoming endangered, or even critically endangered, in the near future. Ex-situ conservation is a proposed method of restoring populations. My research at the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) in Zambia focused on correlations of boldness with natural behaviors and sociality to help further understand individual personality in hopes of connecting it with success after reintroduction. Six audio playbacks were used to assess boldness personality traits of the twelve individuals of the Dambwa pride in Livingstone, Zambia. Social interactions and daily activity budgets were also recorded. Spearman’s correlations were conducted in order to examine correlations between boldness, sociality, and average daily activity. I observed some correlations between social behavior and boldness, and noticed that the Dambwa pride behaved similarly to a wild lion pride. These results provide encouraging evidence for the use of ex-situ conservation with the African lion.

Publication Date

Spring 4-1-2018


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Andrew Conroy, Jackie Abell, Emma Dunston


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type