India could soon help bring back extinct spectacular species of lions

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  1. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India could soon help bring back an extinct, spectacular species of lions

    LONDON: India could soon help bring back an extinct lion species. DNA tests by an international team of scientists has confirmed the lions in India have close genetic links with the now extinct Barbary lions.

    This means that "reseeding" Indian lions could bring back the extinct species and reintroduce lions into North Africa.

    Less than 400 Asiatic lions survive at present on the Kathiawar Peninsula of India and the species is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

    Barbary lions of North Africa — including mountainous regions — extending from Egypt to Morocco were also called the Atlas lions and had the most spectacular physical features of all lion species. The lion's extensive mane made it look majestic. It was a lot larger with differently-coloured eyes to other lions.

    Dr Ross Barnett of Copenhagen University, who had started the research during his days at Durham University in UK, sequenced the DNA from the skulls of two Barbary lions once held in Britain's Tower of London. It has helped reveal the origin of modern lions.

    The skulls of these lions dated as living in the 14th and 15th centuries were discovered preserved in the Tower of London's moat.

    Dr Barnett said he was surprised by the incredibly close relationship between the extinct Barbary lion from North Africa and the Asian lion from India. This he says could now get conservationists start talking about resurrecting the subspecies and reintroducing lions into North Africa"

    Despite the large geographical distances between them, the Indian lions seem to be closely related to Iranian lions and the Barbary lions of North Africa.

    The study says: "In the tiger, another charismatic felid species, studies of ancient mitochondrial DNA have suggested a close relationship between the extinct central Asian Caspian tiger and the extant Amur tiger. This has allowed conservationists to discuss the translocation of Amur tiger stock to occupy the former range of the Caspian tiger with support from the World Tiger Summit. Similarly, if no examples of purebred Barbary lions can be found within the zoo population, there might be scope for restoration of the North African lion population using the closely related Indian lion."

    A genetic analysis of living lions and museum specimens confirms modern lions' most recent common ancestor lived around 124,000 years ago.

    Dr Barnett said, "Understanding the demographic history of a population is critical to conservation. This is particularly true for the lion which as a consequence of millennia of human persecution, has large gaps in its natural distribution and several recently extinct populations. We sequenced mitochondrial DNA from museum-preserved individuals including the extinct Barbary lion and Iranian lion as well as lions from West and Central Africa. We have identified deep, well-supported splits within the mitochondrial phylogeny of African lions."

    The lion had one of the largest geographical distributions of any terrestrial mammal during the Late Pleistocene, ranging from southern Africa through northern Eurasia to Central America. Widespread hunting and anthropogenic changes to lion habitat are continuing to reduce lion populations across their entire range.

    The research says: "From the DNA analysis, we identified four new mitochondrial haplotypes: one from North Africa, one from a suspected Barbary lion present in medieval London, one from Iran, and one from Senegal. Four of the six Barbary lions exhibited sequence identical to that of the extant Indian lion."

    "International bodies currently recognize only two lion conservation units: African and Asian lions. The data clearly show that Asian lions are nested within the diversity present in Central, West and North Africa. Of particular concern are the central African and western African populations, which may be close to extinction, with estimates of 800 lions in West Africa and 900 lions in Central Africa. The close phylogenetic relationships among Barbary, Iranian, and Indian lion populations are noteworthy given their considerable geographical separation. The restoration of the extinct North African Barbary lion has attracted the attention of conservationists both inside and outside North Africa," it added.

    India could soon help bring back an extinct, spectacular species of lions - The Times of India
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Re: India could soon help bring back extinct spectacular species of li

    How about bringing back an extinct species that we could eat, instead of one that can eat us?
     
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  4. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    Re: India could soon help bring back extinct spectacular species of li

    I guess we have 400+ asiatic lion in GIR , few specimen in the Zoo which breed pure Asiatic lions rest all are cross bred between Asiatic and african

    Barbary lions are the biggest lion subspecies with avg weight of 240+ Kg slightly smalled in size of the Bengal Tiger, Barbary lions have thick black mane running al around belly , But asiatic lion has smalled mane & has distinctive skin slap on the belly

    BARBARY lion or a Cross bred lion in captivity

    [​IMG]


    Asiatic lion in GIR national park

    [​IMG]


    Genetically they might be closed but their appearance is quite different


    we as the sole custodians of Asiatic lions are playing very dirty politics , gujarat refused to part ways with asiatic lion which were about to translocated to Madhya pradesh to Kuno wildlife santuary , will we ever do any thing to review Barbary lion in the wild

    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...art-ways-asiatic-lion-once-he-becomes-pm.html

    Expert believe , the isolated polulation in Gir lion population can be wiped off if there is any canine disease or femine
     
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  5. Sword

    Sword Regular Member

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    I think they should get the numbers of gir lions passed 1,000 before any trans-locations even take place, I dont understand why they were taken off the critically endangered list when theres only 100 male lions in gir. They could always just find a captive lion in one of americas 10,000 captivity lions an find one of barbary decent, hire someone like dave salmoni and re-wild them in north africa.

    People forget that a alive lion is worth millions of more money than a single trophy claim who will no longer produce cubs, photographers get payed like 200 $ per photo of a lion, the drivers who take out tourist get payed even more, the hotels who house the tourist who sees the lion gets payed even more, the food, utility's when on safari guides specifically to see lions ect all add up far more money than just shooting a lion. Hence lions could balance the economy, in that sense lions are more of assets than just trophy's for retarded huntsmen. This is why MP is craving for the gir lions, I give props to gujarat, pretty much the only state who genuinely cared for their lions.

    Who once romaed all through out india:
    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...cheetahs-not-indigenous-to-india.49840/page-4

    Check this out, the strength of a lion:
    http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=36072

    The lions today dont represent what the true asiatic lion looked like, they are all inbreed and hasnt gone through the process of natural selection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  6. VaghaDeva

    VaghaDeva The Wise Wolf

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    I don't get how lions from North Africa and Gujarat can be so genetically similar
     
  7. Sword

    Sword Regular Member

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    Its because the indian lion is a direct descendant of the barbary, barbary lions migrated to india thousands of years ago:
    [​IMG]

    Than thousands of years of adpating to a different surrounding made them different genetically and slightly in appearance.

    Thapars claims are backwards, indian lions came from africa originally, then settled there...even the chinese have records of lions in the han dynasty that were given to them by indian/eruasian people as far back as the BC times...

    and jagidish58 is wrong, this is only a economic ploy of MP to get lions after understanding the value of lions in tourism, the lions are ranged already to far apart in different disricts of gujarat for a disease to reach all of them at once...people from all over the world are finding out about the asiatic lion from the web now and want to see him in person, this a booming economic value...gujarat didnt want to part with them, because it took them 100+ years to restore the lions numbers...that isnt easy. And plus, gujarat did give lions several times to several states like MP and UP, both in which they didnt care well for the lions and led to poaching.


    Again, there shouldnt be any rush or demading from MP, in the next decade lions will already be walking themselves into MP an Rajasthan.

    Gujarat pretty much is the only state to have preserved the lion, hence they are entitled to keep them, if the other states want lions back in their wilderness then they should start re-wilding programs and start from a small pride like guarat had to do. Its not all that difficult scientifically, what can kill a pride of lions in the natural world? Nothing, and they live in the open, so zoologist could easily keep track of them. Just give the lions a area with much fauna, water and suitable open lands (and some heavy media cameras to better moniter their safety against poachers), and theres nothing that can stop a pride from flourishing.

    People didnt have news and world wide web back then, hence no one knew lions were in a dire state of brink of extinction, now with the web, the whole world is pitching in to help restore the lions, eventually they might restore the barbary as the thread starters source suggest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  8. VaghaDeva

    VaghaDeva The Wise Wolf

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    didn't they say that those Namibian cheetahs were so genetically similar with the Asiatic cheetah that we could do the same thing?
    [​IMG]
    :frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty:
     

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