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Two Subspecies of Tiger

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by snowleopard, 27 Jun 2015.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  2. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. The current range fragmentation may lead to new isolated "island" subspecies,but two hundred years ago the Tiger's range was pretty continuos from western India to southern Malaya through China and into Russia and back across Central Asia to eastern Turkey. The Sumatran and Java/Bali populations would have been sufficiently isolated for different subspecies to arise. The only bad news in this story is the implied loss of the unique American Tiger (evolved in captivity from intermixing members of distinct source populations...ie Amur-Bengal)....just kidding. Still...I'm a lumper.
     
  3. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    I have often wondered if we over speciate animals simply for notoriety or politics. Similiar to how a vast majority of new dinosaur fossils get assigned to a completely new genus. Harder for a professional to get funding for something without it being new.

    Attitudes of some in conservation today would never allowed for the merging of Whitetail subspecies that saved the Southeastern US population of Whitetail. (Odocoileus virginianus macronus or Odocoileus virinianus Texanus x Odocoileus virginianus virginianus). Some may disagree but I would rather in the case of extremely rare megafauna hybridize subspecies to create more sustainable numbers. They already tried (too late) with the Northern White Rhino to hybridize it with Southerns.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jun 2015
  4. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    True statement there. It's also a mindset used to dispute the status of Wolves in the northern Rockies...ie the current wolves are not the "native" subspecies.
     
  5. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    This makes sense to me, but I would argue, that since the two populations are 100% diagnosable and separate, wouldn't it make more sense to call them full species?
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    This is more or less my thinking - this split has long been mooted anyhow, so the study quoted in the original post more or less comes across as a case of the authors acknowledging the split is valid, but being loathe to contemplate multiple species of tiger and thus deciding the only way to allow the split of Sumatran from the other taxa is to lump all the other taxa together :p
     
  7. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    What would the implications for this be for Zoos? Malayans in US Zoos would be hybridized with the "generic" tigers?
     
  8. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    I doubt there will be any implications.