Join our zoo community

Tigers, Lions, & Leopards OH, MY! (Big Cats)

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ThylacineAlive, 24 Oct 2012.

  1. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Hello everyone!:D
    I haven't found any exsisting threads about this topic so I thought I'd bring it up.

    This thread is about all things Big Cats- zoo exhibits, as pets, species/subspecies, love for Big Cats, breeding, and if you feel the need to want to talk about small wildcats, go right ahead.

    I thought I'd get the ball rolling by asking this first question about Leopards;
    Are there any zoos that have Persians, Indians, North Chinese, or other subspecies besides Amur and African in the U.S. I know the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound has Persians, North Chinese, and Amurs and I know there are no Javan Leopards in North America but are there any other North American zoos with Sri Lankans or Indochinese and such. I believe all North Chinese (which is like 12) in the U.S. belong to the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound and three of the probably Extinct :):)mad:) Barbary Leopards once were at a compound in South Carolina. Are there any Arabians in captivity anywhere in the world besides in the Middle East?
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    12,310
    Location:
    UK
    In terms of ISIS collections only, as of February 2012....

    20 collections in the USA hold non-subspecific Leopards (Panthera pardus) with a total of 19.16.2 individuals held.

    Kansas City Zoo, Missouri, holds 1.0 hybrid Leopard of unstated descent.

    No collections outside of Asia hold Indochinese Leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri)

    No collections in the USA hold Indian Leopard (Panthera pardus fusca)

    3 collections in the USA hold North Chinese Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis), these being: Rare Feline Breeding Compound, Florida, with 1.3 individuals held, Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, California, with 3.4 individuals held, and San Diego Zoo, California, with 1.0 individuals held.

    No collections in the USA hold Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya)

    No collections outside of Africa hold West African Leopard (Panthera pardus leopardus)

    2 collections in the USA hold Cape Leopard (Panthera pardus melanotica), these being: Memphis Zoological Garden & Aquarium, Tennessee, with 0.1 individuals held, and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio, with 0.1 individuals held.

    No collections in the USA hold Javan Leopard (Panthera pardus melas)

    No collections outside the Middle East hold Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr)

    36 collections in the USA hold Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) with a total of 33.42 individuals held.

    2 collections in the USA hold African Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus), these being: Zoo of Acadiana, Louisiana, with 0.1 individuals held, and Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Maryland, with 1.1 individuals held.

    2 collections in the USA hold Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), these being: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Ohio, with 1.0 individuals held, and Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, California, with 2.1 individuals held.

    No collections outside Europe hold Central African Leopard (Panthera pardus shortridgei)
     
  3. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Thank you.
    I believe the Berlin Zoo has at least 1 Javan Leopard, correct? Also, I thought all african leopards were considered one subspecies, Panthera Pardus Pardus.:confused:

    You said that no institutions in the U.S. have Indian Leopards (Panthera Pardus Fusca), does that mean Canadian and/or Mexican zoos still hold a few of these species?

    Does Europe have breeding programs for leopard subspecies besides for just Amur?

    I thought more African Leopards were left in the U.S.:(
     
  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    12,310
    Location:
    UK
    I believe 2.1 Javan Leopard are held by the two Berlin collections.

    Complex situation here - traditionally, 27 subspecies of Panthera pardus were recognised. This was re-analysed and a canonical list of 9 ssp was determined to comprise:

    African leopard (P. p. pardus)
    Indian leopard (P. p. fusca)
    Javan leopard (P. p. melas)
    Arabian leopard (P. p. nimr)
    Amur leopard (P. p. orientalis)
    North Chinese leopard (P. p. japonensis)
    Persian leopard (P. p. saxicolor)
    Indochinese leopard (P. p. delacouri)
    Sri Lankan leopard (P. p. kotiya)

    However, in recent years it has been suggested that the classification of the African leopard as a single subspecies is an underestimate due to the fact almost all the genetic analysis of leopards has been of non-African individuals, and so insufficient sampling may have taken place within P. p. pardus. This means that some of the following historically recognised subspecies of African leopard may be valid in their own right, although it is highly unlikely all are:

    Abyssinian Leopard P. p. adusta
    Barbary leopard P. p. panthera
    Cape leopard P. p. melanotica
    Central African leopard P. p. pardus
    East African leopard P. p. suahelica
    Ruwenzori leopard P. p. ruwenzori
    Somali leopard P. p. nanopardus
    West African forest leopard P. p. leopardus
    West African leopard P. p. reichenowi
    Zanzibar leopard P. p. adersi

    Unfortunately, the one form above which is almost entirely accepted as a valid subspecies, the Zanzibar leopard, almost certainly became extinct in the 1980's. As an island dwarf form of the species, this is quite a big loss.

    Unfortunately not - the only ISIS collections holding the subspecies are two in India, which hold a total of 19.19 individuals, and Wuppertal in Germany, which holds 1.1 individuals.

    The EAZA has programmes for four subspecies: Sri lankan leopard, Amur leopard, Persian leopard and North Chinese leopard.

    As noted above, there are 20 collections in the USA which hold leopards which ISIS classes as having no subspecific status - many of these may well be identified by the zoos themselves as being African Leopards. All the status means is that no status has been proven or tested, therefore some of these individuals may be pure members of one of the various ssp, and many will be hybrids to some extent.
     
  5. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Yes I realize the situation with the Zanzibar Leopard. the Barbary Leopard and Forest Leopard I also treat as seperate subspecies.

    That's good that, at least, Europe is breeding other subspecies besides Amur (althought that's important aswell).

    Wierd that many Leopards are of unknown subspecies in the U.S. The Bronx Zoo's black leopards are of unknown subspecies. They used to have Indian Leopards, though, and since they are black, they are, most likely, an asian subspecies (probably Indian) because very few black leopards are african as it is very rare in african leopards.

    Are Anatolian Leopards (Panthera Pardus Tulliana) and Sinai Leopards (Panthera Pardus Jarvisi) not considered subspecies? If not, then what subspecies are they considered part of? Probably Persian.
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    12,310
    Location:
    UK
    There are two potential subspecies which have a decent case for being split from the Persian leopard, these being the Anatolian leopard (P. p. tulliana) and the Balochistan leopard (P. p. sindica). The Sinai Leopard has been demonstrated to be firmly within the Persian subspecies, and is extinct.
     
  7. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Are there any other possible Leopard subspecies.

    So far, we have... (not including the unlikely african subspecies)
    African Leopard (Panthera Pardus Pardus)
    Barbary Leopard (Panthera Pardus Panthera)- Probably Extinct
    Forest Leopard (Panthera Pardus Leopardus)
    Zanzibar Leopard (Panthera Pardus Adersi)- Probably Extinct
    Indian Leopard (Panthera Pardus Fusca)
    Javan Leopard (Panthera Pardus Melas)
    Arabian Leopard (Panthera Pardus Nimr)
    Amur Leopard (Panthera Paruds Orientalis)
    North Chinese Leopard (Panthera Pardus Japonensis)
    Persian Leopard (Panthera Pardus Saxicolor)
    Indochinese Leopard (Panthera Pardus Delacouri)
    Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera Pardus Kotiya)
    Anatolian Leopard (Panthera Pardus Tulliana)- Possibly Extinct
    Balochistan Leopard (Panthera Pardus Sindica)

    Also, if you any other topics that pretain to cats feel free to post it here.:D
     
  8. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,418
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Yes it is a shame that the AZA abandoned all others in favor of the amur leopard. Of course amur is critically endangered so it is a good thing to have a strong breeding program for them. But if they can have three different tiger SSP's (amur, malayan, sumatran), then why not two leopard SSP's? The recent trend (which I wholeheartedly endorse) seems to be to move amur tigers to northern climate zoos (Bronx, Minnesota, etc) and put malayan and sumatran in southern climate zoos (Tucson, Dallas, etc). I would like to see this with leopards. Put amurs in the northern zoos and pick a warmer climate subspecies for southern zoos. Persian or arabian would be the best choices it seems to me (although of course african would work as well, just not endangered like the others).

    I also love black leopards and am sad to see their demise in the AZA. For the southern climate zoos, how about a pure subspecies with a high frequency of black individuals such as javan or malayan?
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2012
  9. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    That is a good plan and I think it should be done with leopards aswell.
    The thing is there are a lot of amurs in the U.S. and only a couple North Chinese (which would also be a northern climate subspecies), even fewer Persian, and even Africans (weither they're 1 subspecies or a couple) can even be seen as in limited supply.

    The biggest thing is, many leopard in zoos are of unknown subspecies and probably some are these highly endangered and rare subspecies and are being interbreed with other leopards.

    There's no such subspecies as Malayan Leopard, you might be thinking Indochinese Leopard, which, there are none known in the U.S.

    If you want a leopard subspecies with a high black leopard frequency, you don't want africans or amurs, which, means that almost none of the black leopards in the U.S. are of known subspecies and probably either Indian or Indochinese. Do you know which subspecies has the highest black leopard frequency?
     
  10. GoldenLeopard

    GoldenLeopard Member

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    7
    Location:
    UK
    Hi! On the subject of Leopard subspecies, I have been searching and searching for any literature which gives the original descriptions/justification for giving subspecies their status. I cannot gain access to original material from Pocock etc. so if anyone knows if there is any sources of this information I would really really appreciate it! :)
     
  11. ZooMan Texas

    ZooMan Texas Active Member

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    austin tx usa
    A few points 1) The animals at Zoo Acadiana are actually generic 2) Although we cannot tell for certain what the parentage is of the many generic leopards in the country, we can give an educated guess based on records, books, and anecdotal information. From the first part of the 20th century until the endangered species act was based, leopards were imported by dealers/ collecters from Africa (mostly East Africa), India, the malay archipelago, and a few from some of the islands of what is now Indonesia. Most, perhaps nearly all, of the black specimens came from that part of Malaysia which even today has a population of leopards which is perhaps 99% black. A fair number of these were brought in by Frank Buck. India used to have some of the largest animal markets of anywhere in the world, before they made this illegal not long after getting independence from GB. I am of course surmising from what I have read from a large personal collection of early 20th century zoo literature , old (OLD!) price lists, etc (an area of real interest to me.) So, any animals that are black have at least some, and probably a lot, of asian parentage, but everything generic probably also has some african parentage as well. We list our pair as 'Asian Black Leopards'. The reason more leopard subspecies are not being kept and bred is simply a lack of space,i.e., as AZA zoos exhibits get bigger, fancier, and costlier, they are able to keep fewer species. At this years AZA convention, virtually every TAG meeting was ended by the coordinator pleading for more zoos to make space for that particular taxon. I digress here, but this is the beginning of a problem that is going to snowball over the next 20 years, as more, and more species die out in in US zoos, something without much awareness from the public yet. When I was a teenager, there were maybe twice as many species being kept as today, and in 20 or 30 years, todays current number may be cut in half again. There was a time not too long ago when things like giant forest hogs, African golden cats, many more obscure african guenons, many more species of venomous snakes,rare crocodilians such as australian freshies(I could go on and on,but I am showing my age!) were actually quite easy to see. If you keep a life's list of species you have seen, and its something you pride yourself on, then visits to any zoo with Mt. tapirs, most of the brown lemur complex (AZA zoos neutered specimens of all taxa but 2, so as to make more lemur spaces), hellbenders, jungle cats, and many more need to be high priorities. Sorry about the rambling direction this post took, but each topic DID kind of flow from the previous, so I hope some of you find it of interest.
     
  12. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Thank you.
    This is really sad news. If many common zoo animals like leopards are being phased out, how do animals like African Forest Elephants, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Wild Water Buffalo, or Bonobos have a chance!?
    I wouldn't mind if all inbreed Bengal Tigers were phased out and then the pure ones were breed and imported from India (although it is currently going the opposite way)

    By the way, both Freshwater Crocodiles and Giant Forest Hogs can still be found in zoos. I wonder what will be left in captivity by the time I'm 25 or 30 (I'm 15)?:(
     
  13. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Jul 2011
    Posts:
    3,750
    Location:
    CT, United States
    If you read the "New Tiger Exhibits" thread in the U.S. forum, ZooManTexas posts an explanation about the whole Bengal situation.
     
  14. ZooMan Texas

    ZooMan Texas Active Member

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    austin tx usa
    Thylacine, I always appreciate teenagers with an interest in this subject, and hope you consider it as a career. Way too many people working in today's zoos, fell into it, rather than acting on a lifelong passion.

    Yes,you are right, last time I talked to san diego, they had a single giant forest hog of the smaller subspecies, with a few more in Canada. And St. Augustines', San Diego, and Snake Farm and Animal world Zoo all display Australian freshwater crocs, and there are a few more out there. Freshies may even be allowed to breed next year.

    Since this is supposed to be a thread about big cats, Let me say, I don't see any of those disappearing from US zoos. Lions, 3 kinds of tigers, mt lions, jags, cheetahs, amur and generic black leopards, snow leopards, and clouded leopards all will continue to be kept due to their great exhibit value for the general public (as opposed to more knowledgable zoo chatters). The only one that is still a little difficult is the clouded leopard; some pairs never breed, occasionally males tend to kill their female (this can happen with any big cat, but cloudeds are the worst) and the US population is not that big. It is not inconceivable that they could disappear, just due to a series of flukes.
     
  15. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Giant Forets Hogs are also definetly found in African zoos. Freshies are (or were, I didn't see any there over the summer) found at the Smithsonian National Zoo.
    I don't think Big Cats will ever disappear from zoos. Although, pure bengals are being phased out. I dont know about Indochinese. Also, North Chinese and Persian Leopards appear to be being phased out as well as Africans to a lesser extent. SNZ has Clouded Leopards and recently had cubs born (along with Fishing Cats). Smaller cats may have a harder time surviving in zoo collections (though not really at the Cincinnati Zoo)

    Animals have been my life-long passion since I was an infant. I was born in DC and lived outside the zoo so my parents took me there almost everyday so animals are really my first sights and I do plan on pursuing a career in the field of, none other then, felines!:D
     
  16. jusko88

    jusko88 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Dec 2011
    Posts:
    967
    Location:
    Where the 3 Rivers Flow
    I wish more U.S. zoos would exhibit Asiatic Lion, Margay,Flat-headed Cat,African Golden Cat,Iberian Lynx,Kodkod and Jaguarundi. :(
     
  17. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    7,418
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    This may be the single best post in the history of ZooChat! :D
     
  18. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,611
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I don't know if any of these cats are found in U.S. zoos or collections except mabye the Jaguarundi. How common are Jungle Cats in North America? Can Andean Cats and Marbled Cats be found anywhere in captivity?
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    12,310
    Location:
    UK
    Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in California has a single female Jungle Cat - the only ISIS registered collection in the USA to hold the species.

    5 collections in the USA are recorded as holding Margay:

    0.1 at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Ohio
    1.0.4 at Denver Zoological Gardens, Colorado
    1.1 at Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, California
    1.0 at Sacramento Zoo, California
    0.1 at Santa Ana Zoo, California.

    Roughly speaking, there is no chance whatsoever of Asiatic Lion, Flat-headed Cat, African Golden Cat, Iberian Lynx, Marbled Cat, Andean Cat or Kodkod coming to USA collections anytime soon - there are no collections in the world holding the Golden Cat, Andean Cat or Kodkod at present, the Iberian Lynx is being kept strictly offshow at a select few Spanish collection, and Flat-headed Cat are held in only one or two collections in their native range (the same, incidentally, goes for Marbled Cats). As for Asiatic Lions, I believe the idea of holding the subspecies has been roundly rejected by US zoos.
     
  20. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Jul 2011
    Posts:
    3,750
    Location:
    CT, United States
    Arizona Docent- Any post that involves cats is the best post on ZooChat!:D
    TeaLovingDave- I thought Sacramento's Margay died?