Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Far Eastern Leopard -- World's Most Endangered Big Cat -- Captured In Southeast Russia

Date:
November 15, 2006
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Just three days after catching a Siberian tiger in the Russian Far East, an international team led by biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society captured another species last week that carries the dubious distinction of being the world's most endangered big cat: an extremely Far Eastern leopard.

Just three days after catching a Siberian tiger in the Russian Far East, an international team led by biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society captured another species last week that carries the dubious distinction of being the world's most endangered big cat: an extremely Far Eastern leopard.

Related Articles


One of only 30 left in the wild, the animal was captured in a "trapline" -- a series of snares set out by scientists to temporarily catch big cats for genetic analysis. The 45 kg (100 pound) male was captured in Southwest Primorski Krai in the southern Russian Far East less than 20 miles from the Chinese border, and just a mile from where a large male Siberian tiger had been caught days earlier.

Before the leopard was released, a team of scientists from WCS, Institute of Biology and Soils of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity of the National Cancer Institute conducted a suite of medical evaluations including the collection of sperm to asses its capacity to reproduce. Genetic analyses, used in conjunction with other bio-medical evaluations, will be used to determine whether leopards and tigers suffer from the effects of inbreeding by closely related individuals, a common problem in small wildlife populations.

Although more than 400 Siberian tigers occur in the wild, less than 20 tigers in Southwest Primorye are isolated from the main population of Siberian tigers to the east and north, raising questions about their genetic composition and vigor of this subpopulation. With only 30 individuals remaining in the wild, all in Southwest Primorye, the Far Eastern leopard is far more endangered than the tiger, and hence concerns about the genetic status of this animal are even greater. Up to now, no information on these wild animals has been available to assess the risk of disease or inbreeding.

"This capture represents a milestone in our cooperative efforts to save the Far Eastern leopard and Siberian tiger from extinction," said Dale Miquelle, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Russia Program, which has led coordination of this project. "With the information gained from these animals, and others to come, we will be in a much better position to determine appropriate conservation actions."

If inbreeding is considered a serious problem, new genetic material may be introduced into this population, as was done for the Florida panther. In that situation, when poor reproduction and physical abnormalities suggested that inbreeding was the culprit, pumas from Texas were introduced into Florida, resulting in increased reproductive rates and greater vitality of the Florida population. Such actions may be necessary for the Far Eastern leopard, but decisions will be made only after analyses of a representative sample of the remaining population.

The study is the first of its kind to provide vital indicators of the health status of leopards and tigers in this region. The project is part of a larger program to conserve both Siberian tigers and Far Eastern leopards which is overseen by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. Funding for this program has been provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Save-the-Tiger Fund and a Darwin Initiative Grant to the Zoological Society of London.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "First Far Eastern Leopard -- World's Most Endangered Big Cat -- Captured In Southeast Russia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061115053346.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2006, November 15). First Far Eastern Leopard -- World's Most Endangered Big Cat -- Captured In Southeast Russia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061115053346.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "First Far Eastern Leopard -- World's Most Endangered Big Cat -- Captured In Southeast Russia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061115053346.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins