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Are there generic leopards in zoos?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 9 Mar 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Are the leopards named as ''no subspecific status'' on ZooTierliste, generic (hybrid)? Or just their subspecies is not known?

    Did leopards from different subspecies were mixed in zoos, did they were bred? Or they do not accept each other well, as tigers do, from different subspecies?
     
  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    It seems that not. Or almost nobody knows about this.

    Leopard zoo population should be more diversified that tiger zoo population, without generic leopards?
     
  3. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of generic leopards are spread about. In the US, we are focusing on the Amur (sub)species, with most individuals being around 70% pure. There are a few Persian, North Chinese, and Indian leopards hanging around (feline breeding compound has a lot) and an extremely small amount of pure Africans hanging around (I know there's at least one in Maryland and one in Colombus)
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    what does this mean?
     
  5. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    They were bred with something else somewhere along the line before we began to actually focus on preserving (sub)species. The Amur population was mostly pure (enough to be considered Amur) and most endangered of all so that's why we kept it.
     
  6. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    You can safely assume that the ones without any subspecific status are hybrids, especially all the "black panthers" around....
     
  7. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    But how you mean, for one subspecies to be pure, it must not contain any strange genes, to be 100% pure, otherwise would be hybrid. Altough small percentage of strange genes, by the time may dissapear in the population and actually they add to the genetic diversity, but still if we want pure subspecies, they should not be allowed in one managed population.
     
  8. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Actually I am shocked to what I have readon Wikipedia that the captive Amur leopard population have a lot of contributing genes from North Chinese leopard. Even that in 1999, the EEP excludes the leopards from managed populaton who had more than 41% genes from North Chinese leopards, but that's still great amount. I taugh that if there is label for a ''pure'' subspecies, that it is 100% pure, but now...

    It seems that Nort Chinese leopard population is more pure than that of Amur leopard,
     
  9. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    That would be accurate. Just keep in mind not everything on Wikipedia is true. Concerning animals, however, most pages are fairly accurate.
     
  10. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    A subspecies is an artificial unit, so the concept of a "pure" subspecies is misleading, especially given that a) They often interbreed in the wild, and b) Admixture often increases fitness. On the first point, Amur and NC leopards were sympatric until relatively recently, so there was probably some degree of natural gene-flow. They also fill very similar niches, so the loss of locally adapted genotypes is unlikely to be an issue. On the second point, the captive population of Amur leopards is more genetically diverse than the wild population, which will probably be beneficial in the long-run. A good example of this is the Florida panther; controlled interbreeding contributed to averting its extinction. Whilst it may be a "best of a bad job" situation, the zoo population is important, even if it isn't absolutely "pure".
     
  11. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the informations/explanation.
     
  12. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Since when are there Indian Leopards left in the U.S.?

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  13. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    Whoops, was thinking the exotic feline breeding compound had four species of leopard. The other is snow, which (last I heard) is more closely related to tigers, so I was clearly incorrect.
     
  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are according to research, thank to you, I heard this information from you first. The face of both tigers and snow leopard is rather wide compared to leopards.

    BBC - Earth News - Tigers evolved with snow leopards, gene study reveals
     
  15. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    It depends which study you read. A more recent one grouped them with lions and leopards. Personally, I think it's still an open question.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2016
  16. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    I had heard about tigers, but lions?! That's very interesting.
     
  17. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Phylogenetic tree on Wikipedia denotes that the leopards are closer related to lions than to jaguars, and that lions, leopards and jaguars are more close related each other than to a tigers or snow leopard. Who knows, but science will prove.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panthera
     
  18. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Contrary to much people will say or believe, and me too before this, that

    Lions are closest related to tigers
    Leopards are closest related to jaguars and snow leopard, and to cheetah :p

    But it turns out, everything different, with the leopards and lions most close related, and tigers most distant than trio lion, leopard and jaguar
     
  19. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    It's believeable, but surprising. All live in such surprising habitats with very different behaviors. For example:
    Lion- terrestrial, social, grasslands
    Leopard- more aboreal, found in tropics and non-tropics, solitary
    Jaguar- wide variety of habitats, semi aquatic, extremely strong jaw
     
  20. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    I didn't entirely follow those posts; it might be helpful if you cite what you've been reading. The study I referred to (which you may be discussing in post 18) was this one:

    Zhang, W. Q., & Zhang, M. H. (2013). Complete mitochondrial genomes reveal phylogeny relationship and evolutionary history of the family Felidae. Genetics and molecular research: GMR, 12(3), 3256.

    Once again, though, I'd be careful to qualify your statements. These species all diverged relatively recently and no-one has really sampled enough of the genome to be certain. The study above, for instance, faces the same issue as any that uses mtDNA: it doesn't recombine, so is essentially a single locus.

    Cheetahs do not belong to this group.