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number of lions in european zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by georginaA, 8 Mar 2016.

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  1. georginaA

    georginaA Member

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    Dear all, I'm trying to find out if it's possible to get data on the number of lions (both african and asian) currently held and bred in european zoos. This is to help a colleague of mine in Japan identify how breeding programmes are managed within Europe and provide guidance on breeding management to a specific institution. Apart from going on ISIS - which I'm not a member of so can't anyway - is there another database? It appears that only Asian lions are part of an EPP and I've read elsewhere there are approx 100 or so within that programme.

    Any help/advice welcome :)
     
  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    There are at least 130 Asian lions in European zoos.
    And at least 800 african lions (from different eco-regions, I don't know whether they may have a subspecie status). The number for african lions is even greater as there are many in small substandard zoos, especially in Eastern Europe.

    The Asians are well managed
    But the Africans not, so far, but there is some research and efforts to start managed breeding program for some identified subspecies like Kalahari lion.
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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  4. georginaA

    georginaA Member

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    Thank you, that's really helpful
     
  5. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Last I checked, the Asiatic Lion population in Europe is horribly inbred to the point that some zoos are having trouble breeding their animals.

    As for captive Lion populations, ZootierlisteHomepage might help.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  6. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yes I read that too, but last year I know for sure that 3 Asiatic lions were imported from India via Prague zoo, to add to the EEP population
     
  7. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was Singapore actually. Doesn't matter much, though. With the population as inbred as it is, three animals won't help much.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  8. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah they are not enough, but will help, and plus if some other are added in the next years.

    Actualy the programe for Asiatic lions started in 1994 with only 9 founders, and in November 2015, 3 additional (1.2) Asiatic lions were imported, not from Singapure, but from India (from Sakkarbaugh zoo), here you can find out more:

    http://www.eaza.net/assets/Uploads/Zooquaria/ZQIssues/Zooquaria-91.pdf
     
  9. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Too little too late,this should have been done over 10 years ago when the THEN,studbook holder had the chance to bring in a fresh import of 10 animals!!But any way it doesn't matter as NONE OF THEM ARE PURE ANYWAY!As they all have African blood in them even the ones in the wild!As back in the days of the British Empire male African Lions were imported to India for hunting,but guess what not all of them got shot on the hunt,so some actually bred in the wild!!
     
  10. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah maybe :p some were not shot and remained

    Actualy I can't easily diferentiate an Asiatic lion from African lion on the pictures.

    And after all I think it is more important to maintain ex situ population of particular tiger subspecies than of Asiatic lion (wich even do not appear as some subspecies who may be easily visualy diferentiated, and may even be some eco-variety of African lions, like the different eco-varieties of African lions (eg. Kalahari, Barbary) in Africa, but who probably can't bee designated as separate subspecies, even they are on Wikipedia; and are probably on evolutionary way to become subspecies, but still are not. What do you all think, what do you know?
     
  11. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure why you don’t think there are subspecies of lion, or what an “eco-variety” is. As I said on the other thread, a subspecies is a largely artificial unit, but there are already two lion subspecies recognized by the IUCN (leo and persica) and two more will almost certainly be added in the near future. As an aside, one of those (the West/Central Africa population) would warrant a higher threat status than the Gir lions.

    @zoogiraffe: I’d be interested if you had any more info on that. It’s not something I’ve ever heard before, although I’m no expert. Either way, I don’t see how it nullifies captive breeding efforts.
     
  12. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Eco-variety - a path of one population, usually from some particular geographical area, of becoming a subspecies - differentiating enough (both physically and genetically). I do not easily recognise Asiatic lions from Africans, as compared to easy diferentiation of tiger subspecies for example, or giraffe subspecies.

    How you mean a subspecies is artifitial unit? Can you explain better.
     
  13. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    That’s not a term I’ve heard, but it doesn't make much sense. Given that there is no accepted definition of a subspecies, how can it be anything other than artificial? (The same is also true for a species, but everyone agrees on what constitutes a species in most cases.) What that means is that subspecies status is often determined by simple geography or, to put it another way, a population on its way to becoming a species through isolation. So there’s really no such thing as a population on its way to becoming a subspecies. Of course, we can use genetics and morphology to aid in the distinction, but there’s no clear cut-off point between natural and subspecific variation. To take a relevant example, the cheetah is typically recognized as having four African subspecies (taxonomy under review), whilst the lion has one. But cheetahs have notoriously low genetic diversity, so different lion populations may well be more genetically distinct than different subspecies of cheetah. This doesn't mean the subspecies rank cannot be a useful one from a population genetics perspective, but I think it’s more helpful to think in terms of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs).

    I would suggest that your ability to differentiate between populations is not particularly relevant.
     
  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I don't wrote that mine ability to differentiate is relevant, I just wrote my point of general view and thinking, and also I am not zoologist/biologist/ecologist to express muself more proffesional.

    But still, for one animal population to be designed as subspecies, animals must be morphologicaly and genetically distinct enough, otherwise how the subspecies are designed? You can't just designate a subspecies according to geographical location and at the same time animals are identical genetically or morphologicaly as the rest from the same species. For designation of animal subspecies, there must be enough genetic clustering of more specific nucleotide sequences in that particular population from the rest of the population - who will become another subspecies.

    Actually I've never studied how can one animal population be designed as subspecies, what other features must that population posses, other than isolation in particular geographical area? It's clear that they are morphological features and genetics. In that view, Asiatic lione are not very morphologicaly distinct from the African lions.

    You don't need to reply if you are bored. I will research on net what is most accurate-relevant.
     
  15. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Look here, this is interesting, This is about how the tiger subspecies are ''diagnosed'' according to subspecies-specific genetic markers (several for each subspecies, not single), wich markers must be distributed in every individual tiger of particular subspecies, and wich must not exist in individuals from other subspecies. These are mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, MHC (Major histocompitability complex) alleles and microsattelite alleles (And according to that article, Bengal tiger is most closely related to Sumatran tiger -yes Sumatran!). Although the number of tested tigers was 105 (of wich just several from some subspecies).

    http://www.luo-lab.org/publications/Tigers-of-the-World-Chap3-Genetics.pdf
     
  16. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    do you have anything to back that up? The only African lions I know of released in India were at Shivpuri, which is far from Gir, and it seems very unlikely any would have been released in the same place "for hunting" where lions already occurred.
     
  17. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    A subspecies is used to separate populations of animals
    that belong to the same species and differ from the nominate subspecies.
    The difference can be morphological or genetical, but it can
    also be a difference in distribution.

    In some cases, a particular subspecies is a little better adapted to it's
    particular habitat in comparison to the average member of it's species,
    like amur leopards having a thicker fur than most leopards from other
    subspecies. In other cases, it is just a random mutation that occured in
    one distinct population that was neither harmfull nor beneficial and couldn't
    spread to other population but did within the said population,
    so there is a little morphological difference in comparison to other populations.
    (For example, the subspecies of the Pachnoda marginata beetles)

    Besides these, there are many other reasons why some species are split
    into subspecies, but they are artificial: people decide when animals are
    from different subspecies, and not the biology of said animals.
     
  18. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for explanation
     
  19. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    There have also been imports of males from Singapore to Rotterdam and Aalborg in 2014. At about the same time the latter zoo took over as EEP manager (before that the program had stalled somewhat).

    _____________


    A subspecies is no more artificial than the concept of species, or indeed any biological taxonomy. Any problem with subspecies definitions exists in species too, and vice versa.

    Using the biological species concept, subspecies always:

    1. Differ in appearances – even if it may be internal, e.g. cranial measurements.
    2. Differ in genetics – but not enough to prevent complete hybridization events.
    3. Differ in distribution – subspecies can never be sympatric. They can, however, be parapatric, but without an ecological border this will generally result in a cline (itself invalidating the subspecies).

    If you remove *any* of these, the subspecies is invalid. There are obviously plenty of questionable subspecies (and species), but this is strictly because only a minority of species have had a modern, taxonomic review. None of these fully resolve the potential problems with clines, hybrid zones, ring species, genetic drift, polyphyletic/paraphyletic species (as exist under the biological species concept) and "super hybrid" groups (e.g., Anseriformes), but those present equal problems to species vs. subspecies.

    In some fields, the phylogentic species concept is used with an increasing frequency and (in its strict form) this invalidates subspecies entirely. Any valid subspecies automatically becomes a species.

    NB. Old habits die hard and I've not really managed to make the shift myself, but ICZN rules now stipulate that nominotypical should be used for the type subspecies.
     
  20. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks good explanation