The East African lion (Panthera leo melanochaita) is a lion population located primarily in East Africa. In this part of Africa, lions occur in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, but are regionally extinct in Djibouti, Egypt and Eritrea. Lion populations in the East African range countries have increasingly declined since the turn of the century. Formerly, the East African lion was recognized as being divided into several distinct subspecies with the scientific names Panthera leo massaica, P. l. hollisteri and P. l. nyanzae. They were known as Masai lion, Somali lion, Abyssinian lion and Uganda lion, depending on the countries where individuals had been captured for zoological collections. 21st century authors refer to the overall population as the East African lion. In 2016, IUCN Red List assessors had subsumed all African lion populations to Panthera leo leo. The subspecific status of lions in the Horn of Africa has not yet been fully resolved.
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