DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThe distribution of the Lechwe is discontinuous, with major populations restricted to extensive wetlands in Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Zambia, and remnants of populations in south-east DR Congo. Present distribution is much the same as its historical distribution, except that range has contracted, particularly over the last century (East 1999; Jeffery and Nefdt in press). The ranges of the four subspecies are as follows (from Jeffery and Nefdt in press):
The Kafue Lechwe is confined to the Kafue Flats in central Zambia.
The Black Lechwe is confined to the southern half of the Bangweulu Swamps of northern Zambia. It is unlikely to survive in its former range on the Chambeshi floodplains along the upper Luapula floodplain that forms the common frontier between Zambia and south-eastern DRC.
Red Lechwe are 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 extinct Robert’s Lechwe was reportedly restricted to within the Luongo and Kalungwishi drainage systems of the lower Luapula locality of north-east Zambia.
The Upemba Lechwe is restricted to the Upemba wetlands, Kamalondo depression, in the Katanga
Province of south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Cotterill 2005).