A method of identifying individual lions Panthera leo with an analysis of the reliability of identification



A method is described of identifying lions from the patterns of vibrissa spots. “Reliability” of identification is discussed in terms of the probability of there being more than one individual with a given spot pattern in the study population, and it is shown how reliability can be improved, when necessary, by adding together information from more than one source. Means of adapting the reliability calculation to identification in other species are indicated.