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white tigers....

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by patrick, 15 Jun 2006.

  1. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Perth zoo has have such a wonderful track record with reintroducing native fauna onto mainland Aust. especially round Shark Bay. I personally don't see anything wrong with reintroducing tassie devils to the Aust. mainland
     
  2. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

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    In the past it was claimed that the Tassie Devils stopped foxes becoming established in Tasie. Devils would go into fox burrows and eat the cubs. There were seversl atempts at introducing foxes to Tassie and they all failed.

    It may be the facial tumors reducing devil numbers that alowed foxes to become established in Tassie. Geting a population of Devils on the mainland which are healthy may lead to a large reduction in fox numbers and alow other native animals such as the eastern Quoll to be re-established on the mainland.
     
  3. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    I was unaware of that. Like the idea that dingos keep feral cat populations down too
     
  4. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    i have read this too monty and there is a lot of logic in the theory. however, unlike tasmaina we have dingos/wild dogs here that in turn kill the devils. any re-introducion of devils would have to coincide with eradication of dogs...
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    species continuums /clines.

    I'm not a biologist but I think where a species has a very wide distribution and there are changes to the animals' appearance along this 'continuum' then its called a 'cline' ( I think the 2 Scottish gull species you mention are Herring and Lesser Black-backed and they demonstrate this too.)... Another 'cline' is what Common/Plains zebras show in Africa, at the Northern end is Grants Zebra with the clearcut wide b/w striping pattern, further south the stripes get narrower/more numerous, then start to disappear on the lower legs and break up on the rump(Chapman's zebras) then finally at the other end was the poor old extinct Quagga.(now proved to have the DNA of a Plains zebra too)

    Don't get me talking about Quaggas... You've probably all seen the pictures of zebras produced by the Quagga Project-the South African attempt to reproduce Quagga-like zebras by back-breeding. But the true Quagga wasn't just a brownish zebra with no stripes on the body- it seemed to have a totally different colour pattern to what is being produced nowadays in the project zebras. So far they are being bred to lose their stripes. But maybe if they persevere they will get the true dark brown body colour and thin white lines on head and neck which the true Quagga showed.
     
  6. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Sumatran Tigers.

    Yes, I too read that Sumatran tigers are regarded as genetically different from other tigers, presumably the result of being isolated on an island. So perhaps the Sumatran/Javan/Bali were all closely related as 'island' races. Placing a few Sumatran tigers in a reserve on Java might be a future scenario- perhaps not where the rhinos are tho' historically they would have coexisted, but with so few rhinos its probably not a good idea as they might predate the calves... There are other'rhino-free' areas on Java where it could perhaps be done though.

    I read that the main reason the Bali Tiger became extinct is there isn't enough forested area left on Bali, so a reintroduction( e.g.of Sumatran tiger) to Bali as well,is probably not plausible.

    When I worked in a zoo many years ago, we had both purebred Sumatran and Siberian tigers. The Siberian tigers were friendly and outgoing, but the Sumatrans were fierce and unfriendly- I don't know what caused these very marked temperament differences but all were zoo-bred under similar conditions.
     
  7. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    thats interesting! whilst i have seen both alive in the flesh i would like to compare them side by side.

    quagga project? you gotta give em credit for trying, even if it only is for looks. at the very least the interest in them might spurr some reintoduction project and some additional habitat protection, which would be a good thing. to me they are looking pretty quagga-like, with the exception of those remnant striping on the hocks they just cant seem to get rid of.

    i think once the stripes are gone the focus will be on developing a richer brown colouring. agreed they are far too pale at present, but if you can get stripes to dissappear then it shouldn't be hard to bring out a richer colouring..

    they take awhile to mature tho, so its a long way off! we might very well see someone clone a purebred before we ever see the breeding project have any luck!.

    other interesting back-breeds are about a bizillion attemps at "arochs" and a few "tarpans" that are generally just przwalski/pony crosses!!
     
  8. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

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    I just saw an article on the BBC news sits about a tiger destroying cameras.

    Rare tiger mauls monitor camera

    There are believed to be fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild
    A tiger belonging to a rare species in the remote jungles of Indonesia has been destroying surveillance cameras, the environmental group WWF says.
    WWF had been puzzled by how several heat-sensitive photo traps had been destroyed after a very rare Sumatran tiger was photographed passing by.

    The WWF says the cat was frightened by the camera's flash and attacked the cameras, destroying them.

    Fewer than 500 of the big cats are estimated to be left in the wild.

    Loggers, poachers and other wildlife have destroyed cameras in the past, a WWF spokesman said, but this was the first time the vandal had been positively identified.

    WWF had set up the cameras to observe life in the deep jungles of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Tigers and Quaggas.

    Patrick- re the Sumatran and Siberian tigers- there is a huge difference in size -and appearance too- as Zooboy says the Sumatran tiger(especially male) has a real shaggy ruff around the neck, a dark orange background colour, many dark stripes and small size. Siberians are huge, paler,with browner striping and much longer coated(for those cold regions) The temperament thing we noticed just because the Sumtran tigers were SO nervous/aggressive compared to the big friendly Sibs.

    You posted about white tiger 'hybrids' on this thread too. Its very noticeable that most white tigers nowadays are not such a 'sharp' b/w colouration and have almost brownish stripes which is undoubtedly from the infusion of Siberian blood. The original ones produced from pure Indian tigers(as some of my old postcards show) had almost black stripes on a pure white background and were short-haired too- there is quite a marked difference when you compare those from the original breedings to the present ones.

    Quaggas- yes I shouldn't be impatient - your thinking is exactly mine -that they may in time be able to infuse the dark body colour(it was a rich chestnut brown) as well as the stripe reduction. Some of the 'Quaggas' produced so far do already have a sandy or yellowish tint on the rump but it may take a long time to 'fix' and darken that. Looking at museum specimens(or photos of London quagga)- I notice the neck striping is very different to existing zebras- not thick black and white bands, but thin white stripes-almost like a Bongo's- on the dark brown background. I'm not knocking it but so far the zebras produced in the project are not really Quagga-like in my opinion- but I hope they still persevere despite the recent death of the driving force- Reinold Rau.

    Tarpan/Aurochs. mmm. Neither recreation holds the same interest as the Quagga does for me personally. Also I agree there are several strains produced and the problem is no-one knows exactly what the originals looked like anyway.