MANATI, A. R. (2011)

Unterartenfrage Persischer Leoparden geklärt

Der Zoologische Garten 81, (1): 1- 13, ISSN 0044-5169


The Studbook for the Persian Leopard, Panthera pardus saxicolor, was analyzed. The whole population derives from a few founder animals, 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 animals living today.

This study 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 molecular-biological revision of the species there is only one subspecies in Afghanistan, Panthera pardus saxicolor. To clarify the subspecies question various measures of furs have 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 molecular-biological investigations published, not only samples of zoo animals were available in this study but also samples from the wild. The results confirm that almost all leopards from Afghanistan and Iran belong to one and the same subspecies. Only in the most eastern part of Afghanistan, the Indian leopard, Panthera pardus fusca, can be found.

Mixing the two lines subsequently is justified by the results of this study. Recently acquired animals from the Caucasus, however, should be tested genetically before integrating them into the zoo population.


Siehe auch: MANATI, A. R. (2008)



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