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Christiansen, P. (2007). Canine morphology in the larger Felidae: implications for feeding ecology. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 91, 573–592.
Abstract: Canine morphology is analysed at seven intervals along the crown in both
anteroposterior and lateromedial perspective in seven species of large felids. The puma and the snow leopard have stout, rather conical canines, whereas those of lions, jaguars, and tigers bear substantial resemblance to each other, reflecting their phylogenetic relationships, and are less conical and large. The canines of the leopard are intermediate in morphology between those of the other species, probably reflecting its more generalized diet. The clouded leopard has very large and blade-like canines, which are different from the other analysed species. Canine bending strengths to estimated bite forces appear to differ less among the species than morphology,indicating that the evolution of canines has been constricted with respect to their strength in failure, probably owing to their being equally important for species fitness. However, the clouded leopard again stands out, having a high estimated bite force and rather weak canines in bending about the anteroposterior as well as lateromedial planes compared to the other species. Canine morphology to some extent reflects differences in killing mode, but also appears to be related to the phylogeny. The marked divergence of the clouded leopard is presently not understood.
Han, X. M., D. G., Zhang, E., Jones, M., and Jin, T.. (2001). Far eastern leopard and Siberian tiger conservation measures. (pp. 102–103). Harbin: Widlife Conservation Society.
Abstract: Workshop to develop a recovery plan for the wild north China tiger population. October 20th to 23th, 2000, Harbin.
Like the Siberian Tiger, the Far Eastern Leopard is one of China's largest Felidae and lives mainly in the eastern mountains of Jilin Province. The number of leopards is very low and it is even more endangered than the tiger. There is a very close relationship between leopard and tiger conservation, especially in areas where overlap occurs. In these areas, special emphasis has to be placed on each of the species' specific conservation needs. There is urgent need to step up our efforts to study and monitor leopard populations and to develop a conservation strategy. This document contains information of the status and main threats of the Far Eastern leopard and makes recommendations on needed conservation measures.
Hongfa, X. and K., C. (2006). The State of Wildlife Trade in China. Information on the trade in wild animals and plants in China 2006..
Abstract: Welcome to the first edition of The State of Wildlife Trade in China. This publication takes a broad look at wildlife trade over the past year, particularly concerning the impact of China's consumption on globally important biodiversity 'hotspots'. The focus of The State of Wildlife Trade in China is on emerging trends in China's wildlife trade and up-to-date reviews of work to stop illegal wildlife trade and support sustainable trade. The lead story in this issue is the illegal trade in Tigers and other Asian big cats. During 2006, surveys continued to document this illegal trade, as well as highlight opportunities for action. Other stories in this issue give updates on trade in reef fishes from Southeast Asia's 'Coral Triangle' and in timber from the forests of the Russian Far East, Borneo, and East Africa. China's wildlife trade presents both challenges and opportunities. This annual report aims to provide current information about wildlife trade in China and to provide avenues for involvement in China's conservation community. It is part of TRAFFIC's on-going commitment to turn information into action.
Lovari, S., Minder, I., Ferretti, F., Mucci, N., Randi, E., Pellizzi, B. (2013). Common and snow leopards share prey, but not habitats: competition avoidance by large predators. Journal of Zoology, 291, 127–135.
Abstract: Resource exploitation and behavioural interference underlie competition among
carnivores. Competition is reduced by specializing on different prey and/or spatiotemporal
separation, usually leading to different food habits. We predicted that
two closely related species of large cats, the endangered snow leopard and the
near-threatened common leopard, living in sympatry, would coexist through
habitat separation and exploitation of different prey species. In central Himalaya,
we assessed (2006–2010) habitat and diet overlap between these carnivores. The
snow leopard used grassland and shrubland, whereas the common leopard
selected forest. Contrary to our prediction, snow leopard and common leopard
preyed upon similar wild (Himalayan tahr, musk deer) and domestic species (Bos
spp., dogs). Dietary overlap between snow leopard and common leopard was 69%
(yearly), 76% (colder months) and 60% (warmer months). Thus, habitat separation
should be the result of other factors, most likely avoidance of interspecific
aggression. Habitat separation may not always lead to the use of different prey.
Avoidance of interspecific aggression, rather than exploitation of different
resources, could allow the coexistence of potentially competing large predators.
Lovari, S., Ventimiglia, M., Minder, I. (2013). Food habits of two leopard species, competition, climate change and upper treeline: a way to the decrease of an endangered species? Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 25(4), 305–318.
Abstract: For carnivore species, spatial avoidance is one of the evolutionary solutions to
coexist in an area, especially if food habits overlap and body sizes tend to coincide.
We reviewed the diets of two large cats of similar sizes, the endangered snow leopard
(Panthera uncia, 16 studies) and the near-threatened common leopard (Panthera par-
dus, 11 studies), in Asia. These cats share ca 10,000 km2 of their mountainous range,
although snow leopards tend to occur at a significantly higher altitude than common
leopards, the former being a cold-adapted species of open habitats, whereas the latter
is an ecologically flexible one, with a preference for woodland. The spectrum of prey
of common leopards was 2.5 times greater than that of snow leopards, with wild prey
being the staple for both species. Livestock rarely contributed much to the diet. When
the breadth of trophic niches was compared, overlap ranged from 0.83 (weight categories)
to one (main food categories). As these leopard species have approximately
the same size and comparable food habits, one can predict that competition will arise
when they live in sympatry. On mountains, climate change has been elevating the
upper forest limit, where both leopard species occur. This means a habitat increase
for common leopards and a substantial habitat reduction for snow leopards, whose
range is going to be squeezed between the forest and the barren rocky altitudes, with
medium- to long-term undesirable effects on the conservation of this endangered cat
Manati, A. R. (2008). Fur trade of large cats and the question of the subspecies status of leopards in Afghanistan (Der Handel mit Fellen von Grosskatzen und die Abklärung der Unterartenfrage beim. Germany: University of Köln.
Abstract: Over a time of four years the bazars of Afghanistan were surveyed for furs of spotted wild cats, in particular leopards and snow leopards. In 2004 in Kabul a total of 28 furs of leopards were purchased by shopkeepers and 21 sold at an average price of 825 $. In the same year 25 furs of snow leopards were purchased and 19 sold to clients at an average price of 583 $. In 2006 at a single inspection double as many furs of leopards were found to be offered for sale in comparison to the whole year of 2004. Also prices had increased over the two years by 20 % to an average of 1037 $. Similarly the number of furs of snow leopards at 21 pieces was higher than in 2004, and the prices had increased to an average of 652 $. In 2007 investigations rendered more difficult, because the authorities had started to control the fur trade, and the results are not unequivocal. Clients were without any exception foreigners.
Surveys in 2004 in Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz, Takhar and Faiz Abad, in 2006 additionally in Baharak and Iskashem in the province of Badakhshan, revealed a regular trade in furs of spotted cats, however not as extensive as in Kabul. The most interesting finding was a fur of a cheetah in Mazar-e-Sharif, the first record of this species after 35 years.
From the surveys can be concluded that leopards still exist in the whole range of its distribution area in Afghanistan. However they don't allow any conclusion on the population size and its threat by hunting. In contrast to the leopard there exists a recent estimation of the population size of the snow leopard, saying that there are still 100 to 200 snow leopards living in Afghanistan. On the basis of these figures as well as the numbers of furs traded annually a Population and Habitat Viability Analysis was conducted. The result of this analysis is alarming. It has to be assumed that the snow leopard will be extinct in Afghanistan within the next ten years. To improve the protection of spotted cats in Afghanistan it needs both, a better implementation of the existing legislation as well as an awareness campaign among potential clients, i. e. foreigners living in Afghanistan.
The second part of this thesis deals with the question of subspecies of leopards in Afghanistan. Out of the 27 subspecies described four are believed to exist in Afghanistan. However, according to a molecularbiological revision of the species there occurs only one subspecies in Afghanistan, Panthera pardus saxicolor. To clarify the subspecies question various measures of furs had been taken in the bazars. The results revealed that the leopards in Afghanistan are the biggest of its species. However a further differentiation according to the area of origin within the country was not possible. Also the traditional differentiation on the basis of colours and patterns on the furs was not possible.
In contrast to the molecularbiological investigations published not only samples of zoo animals were available in this study but also samples from the wild. The own results confim that almost all leopards from Afghanistan and Iran belong to one and the same subspecies, P. p. saxicolor. Only in the most eastern part of Afghanistan, the Indian leopard, Panthera pardus fusca, can be found. The International Studbook for the Persian Leopard was analysed. The whole population derives from a few founder animals, which were imported in the midth fifties from Iran and in the late sixties from Afghanistan. To avoid inbreeding later on the Iranian and the Afghan lines were mixed. A female imported in 1968 from Kabul to Cologne is represented in each of the more than 100 today living animals.Mixing the two lines subsequently is justified by the genetic results of this study. Recently acquired animals from the Caucasus, however, should be tested genetically before integrating them into the zoo population.
Schmidt, A. M., Hess, D. L., Schmidt, M. J., Smith, R. C., & Lewis, C. R. (1988). Serum concentrations of oestradiol and progesterone, and sexual behaviour during the normal oestrous cycle in the leopard (Panthera pardus) (Vol. 82).
Abstract: Three mature nulliparous female leopards were studied for 5 years. During three separate 6-month periods serum oestradiol and progesterone concentrations were measured at weekly intervals. Oestradiol was elevated over 21 pg/ml for 54 weeks during these 3 periods, and 36 oestradiol peaks (65\m=.\8\m=+-\6\m=.\3pg/ml (mean \m=+-\s.e.m.), range 21\p=n-\172pg/ml) were identified. Daily frequency of feline reproductive behaviours averaged over each week increased from 1\m=.\9\m=+-\0\m=.\2(n = 93) during weeks with low serum oestradiol concentrations (<21 pg/ml) to 5\m=.\3\m=+-\0\m=.\6(n = 54) during weeks when serum oestradiol concentrations (>21 pg/ml) were high. Increased serum progesterone concentrations (13\p=n-\98n/gml) were observed on 5 occasions in 2 leopards housed together. These presumptive luteal phases lasted from 1 to 5 weeks. Baseline progesterone values were 1\m=.\6\m=+-\0\m=.\4 ng/m(nl= 131). No progesterone increments were observed in isolated animals, and serum concentrations remained at baseline levels. These limited observations suggest that female leopards do not require intromission to induce ovulation and luteal function. The average interval between oestradiol peaks for cycles with no progesterone increment was 3\m=.\4weeks (range 1\p=n-\6weeks). The interval for the 3 complete cycles associated with elevated progesterone concentrations was 7\m=.\3weeks. Analysis of sexual behaviours over the 5-year study period revealed no evidence of seasonality in these