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Binturong subspecies

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Zygodactyl, 25 Nov 2016.

  1. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    I've tended not to pay much attention to subspecies of mammals, however I've noticed people here and elsewhere distinguish two main subspecies of binturong. Wikipedia lists eleven subspecies, but googling indicates seems to be two main clades. Zootierliste has three subspecies held in zoos.

    So I'm wondering if anyone here knows about the distinctions between the clades and subspecies in terms of behavior and morphology?
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The Cambodian Binturong (Arctictis binturong albifrons) is the largest and most robust taxon by some margin, I believe; certainly this is the case when compared to the Malayan (A. b. binturong) and Palawan (A. b. whiteii) also found in European collections. The Cambodian is also a lot shaggier and darker than other taxa, with longer fur overall and a much more distinct margin between the pale silver-flecked face and the long black body pelage.
     
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  3. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Wikipedia lists nine subspecies, a number often recognized. Cosson et al. (2007) did identify two main clades of binturong, but that was based on molecular analysis of zoo animals, almost all of which originated from either Indochina (A. b. albifrons) or Peninsula Malaysia (A. b. binturong). The Palawan binturong was imported more recently, of course.
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2016
  4. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    A small detail - the two commonly held subspecies in european zoos are in fact rather different species. They are known to not produce offspring when you put them in mixed pair.
     
  5. AbileneBoy

    AbileneBoy Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression San Diego held Bornean (pageli), and Bronx and Oak Creek (TX) held Palawan, but I don't know which subspecies are in other zoos, such as Austin, Houston, Aggieland, Virginia and Tulsa.
     
  6. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Most zoos in the US keep generic or unknown animals, though many of these are likely to be the nominate subspecies. Nashville Zoo imported Palawan Binturong (along with Banded Civet) from Europe a few years ago and has been breeding them regularly behind the scenes. Bronx and Columbus, among others probably, have taken in offspring to use as education animals as opposed to exhibit animals, presumably due to the subspecies' much smaller size.

    Both San Diegos actually keeps Javan, penicillatus, though they are labeled as Bornean for some reason. Virginia also kept a single individual of these along with non-subspecific animals but I believe it's died. Hamerton Zoo in the UK has more recently imported a couple pairs of this subspecies.

    ~Thylo