There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
--- Peter Broekhuijsen ---

  Tiger population across Asia can triple: Study
Posted by: Rishi - 11-29-2018, 08:18 PM - Forum: Research, Discoveries & Articles - Replies (2)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Tiger population in sites across Asia have potential to triple: WWF

Wild tiger populations in key tiger recovery sites across Asia, including in India, have the potential to triple, contributing up to 15 per cent increase in the global tiger population, a new study said Wednesday.
Some of the tiger recovery sites cited in the study could be on track to fulfil their highest estimated tiger population capacity within the next 20 years.

18 tiger recovery sites from 10 tiger-range countries were selected for the study, which currently support around 165 (118-277) wild tigers, it said.
These sites have the capacity to harbour up to 585 (454-739) tigers in the study's best case scenario, representing an estimated tripling of their current combined population, it pointed out.

The study, conducted by 49 conservation experts from 10 tiger-range countries, developed site-specific and ecologically realistic targets and timelines for the recovery of tiger populations in the tiger recovery sites, identified under WWF's global tiger conservation programme.
In 2010, the global tiger population reached an all-time low of around 3,200, prompting 13 tiger-range governments to convene and commit to TX2 - to double the world tiger population to beyond 6000 by the year 2022.

The India sites in the study include Rajaji National Park, Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary, Valmiki national park in northern India, Manas national park in the east, Balaghat, Achanakmar Wildlife in central India, and Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Vazhachal forests in southern India.

The authors of the study, concluded that although the goal to double tiger numbers by 2022 may be ambitious given the limited time frame, it is still possible as long as significant and sustained conservation efforts are taken immediately.
This study has revealed tremendous potential among these sites – although some areas are still lagging behind, particularly in South East Asia, several others are already beginning to experience an increase in wild tigers.
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  Matimba Sons
Posted by: vinodkumarn - 11-27-2018, 03:38 AM - Forum: Lion - Replies (25)
As there are atleast 2 coalitions sired by Matimbas dominant, lets have a thread to learn about them and pictures/imgaes of Matimbas sons

Junior/Buddy - Orpen males
Mbiri  male lions
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  Avoca male lions
Posted by: vinodkumarn - 11-27-2018, 03:35 AM - Forum: Lion - Replies (27)
As we are seeing 2 sets of Dominant Avocas in sabisands and we can say they are here to stay and lets have a thread to know more about them (Pics and information)
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  Conservation Projects (presentation and disclosure)
Posted by: Matias - 11-26-2018, 02:46 AM - Forum: Projects, Protected areas & Issues - Replies (1)
The purpose of this topic is to present projects so that they become known and appreciated.

Landscapes
Far from what we are lead to believe, the Sahara is not just miles and miles of endless sand but a complex mosaic of landscapes, including some of the biggest grasslands and highest mountain ranges in Africa. Like elsewhere on earth, the sustainable use and conservation of landscapes and critical wildlife habitats calls for a mix of tools and, above all, dialog and partnership with the people that use the land and its resources.

Peoples
Barren wasteland? Or home to some of the most resourceful people on earth? In spite of tremendous environmental challenges, the peoples of the Sahara are not only diverse but maintain vibrant cultures, in many places based on the natural resources the Sahara has to offer. It is inconceivable for conservation to succeed without the support of those people living closest to and in many cases dependent on the natural resources we all hope to see saved and managed sustainably.

Wildlife
The desert is not only beautiful but also home to thousands of plants and animals uniquely adapted to life in a very, very special part of our planet. 

Protected Areas in Northern & Western Africa
The Sahara desert and its Sahelian fringes cover over 10 million km² (ca. 4 million sq ml), about the same size as the USA or roughly a third of the land mass of Africa. This vast region is shared by at least 14 countries and is home to many millions of people.


*This image is copyright of its original author


Some news:

GIRAFFE FIELD MONITORING IN NIGER

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 19:29 / 0 Comments
A giraffe monitoring mission was carried out by the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) from 6 to 17 April, in Niger, to survey the wild population of West African Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta), subspecies of the newly classified northern giraffe species, currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red list. The aim was to monitor giraffes during the dry season and to obtain information in addition to the data collected in the rainy season - and especially to go to areas which were usually not explored (giraffes being more dispersed at this time of the year). Each giraffe observed had to be identified.
 
So that all the areas where the giraffes were supposed to be found would be covered, the mission lasted 11 days. The first week was spent in the south east of Niamey, especially in the region of Kouré and Falmey- an area where the giraffes were for sure known to stay. During the second part of the mission, the team went to explore the north of Niamey, around Simiri, Dingazi and Fandou.


*This image is copyright of its original author
 
Every member of the team had a different role; taking pictures, identifying giraffes, taking notes, recording data in the smartphone via a specific giraffe tracking application, guidance, etc.

 This field mission consisted in counting the giraffes and go to any other area where they were expected to be present, using a vehicle to drive across the Dallol valley. 
This mission also had the following objectives: 
- Determine the distribution pattern of the giraffes during the dry season. 
- Count, photograph and identify the giraffes with a focus on newborns.  
- Raise awareness among local communities about giraffe conservation as well as its habitats.

 
The mission itinerary and the entire journey were coordinated in regard with the information we could obtain concerning the giraffe occurrence; this kind of information could be provided by official sources such as the staff of the "Direction des Eaux et Forêts", by the guide, or by locals.


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Giraffes can usually be found very close to villages. The cohabitation with people is generally possible since it is not an aggressive species, but there can be issues with crops getting eaten by giraffes. In this season, they eat mangoes. Some people have protected their fields or gardens by enclosing them, or by digging holes around their lands, which giraffes cannot cross.

For every giraffe encountered, pictures of both sides were needed to identify it and complete the database as well.


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With a large group, the difficulty is to identify each individual, and when the giraffes begin to move, not to confuse them.


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  It can be a bit tricky sometimes to take a good photo of both profiles, especially with the calves, because they get more easily scared and prefer to remain in the far distance as much as possible. 
 
While taking the photos of the giraffe, the following information (age, sex, coat characteristics, etc.) would be written down on a paper as well as digitally. 


*This image is copyright of its original author
  During this monitoring mission, SCF-GCF team saw a dozen giraffe calves born in 2018 (a very encouraging number!). They are most of the time isolated from the rest of the group with their mother, since they usually move away to give birth.
The identification is made possible by the analysis and comparison of the giraffe pelage (or any other kind of distinctive sign) with photos taken in the previous years.

*This image is copyright of its original author
 In this photo, showing the left-side of an adult female, all of the spots can be clearly distinguished, which allows the identification of the giraffe. 


*This image is copyright of its original author
 Giraffes allowed the team to get relatively close, making it easier to take photos for the identification, like with this portrait of two males. We can notice the third ossicone on the front of the two giraffes, which helps confirm their gender, since females do not have it. 

 
Two questionnaires were prepared for the local communities so that we could have a better idea of their perceptions and interactions with giraffes. It was the first time they were circulated in the field, so they were conceived as experiments. The first questionnaire focused on the conflicts between locals and wildlife, while the second one was more specifically about the perception and interaction of people with giraffes. 
 
All the data collected were sent to the persons in charge of their processing. Also, the feedback on the questionnaires gave a good idea of how to improve them and adapt them better to the real conditions on the ground.
 
This mission has allowed us to highly improve our knowledge of the giraffe population in this area. Indeed, new born giraffes were observed but we also noticed the presence of some individuals that had remained unseen for many years. It also enabled us to have a better understanding of their distribution; going to new sites greatly helped realize that some of the giraffes had also settled down in a number
 remote places. 

ANTELOPE CONSERVATION: EXPORTING EXPERIENCE FROM TUNISIA ACROSS THE SAHARA

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 00:53 / 0 Comments


Many thanks to Marie Petretto, Tania Gilbert, and Philip Riordan for this article giving a useful overview on the experience of Marwell Wildlife, SCF long-time partner, with antelope conservation in Tunisia and in the Sahara.

 Once abundant and widespread Saharan antelopes, such as scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) and addax (Addax nasomaculatus) have dwindled towards extinction during the twentieth century. Tunisia recognised the dramatic loss of its natural heritage early, and was amongst the first range countries to implement a national strategy to return these emblematic ungulates to their natural habitats.

 More recently, a joint project between the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Chad government, with the Sahara Conservation Fund as the implementing agency, led to the release of captive-bred scimitar-horned oryx (SH oryx) from Abu-Dhabi, into the extensive unfenced Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim (OROA) Reserve in Chad, several decades after they were extirpated by over-hunting and habitat degradation.

Since the first release of SH oryx in Tunisia’s Bou Hedma National Park in 1985, and the subsequent Djerba Declaration in 1998, Marwell Wildlife has collaborated in a long-term partnership with the Tunisian Direction Générale des Forêts (DGF) to restore antelopes and their arid ecosystems in Tunisia. Our work has focused on monitoring these animals and their role in the aridland ecosystems. Our surveys address key questions on population viability, habitat use and animal health using a range of techniques including population genetics, biodiversity assessments, and population modelling.


*This image is copyright of its original author




*This image is copyright of its original author


 In 2012, the EAD convened a team including the IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, RZSS and Marwell, to model scenarios of reintroduction success. The baseline model was adapted from one that Marwell developed for the reintroduction of SH oryx to Tunisia’s Dghoumes National Park in 2007.
 
Genetic evaluation by EAD and RZSS of the captive population for reintroduction to Chad indicated they would benefit from additional lineages, and in 2015 Marwell transferred 14 SH oryx donated by several European zoos (EAZA) to Abu-Dhabi. Together with SH oryx transferred from North America, they increased the population’s genetic diversity at the EAD. A similar approach to creating genetically diverse founders for reintroduction was employed in Tunisia in 2007, when animals from EAZA and North American zoos (AZA) were released into Dghoumes National Park.

*This image is copyright of its original author


There are substantial differences between the reintroduction of SH oryx to the large unfenced OROA Reserve in Chad and the smaller fenced protected areas in Tunisia. Unlike the OROA population, those in Tunisia require ongoing management to ensure long-term sustainability. Marwell works closely with the DGF and reserve managers to implement strategies that address issues of limited carrying capacity and small population size. These management strategies are informed by modelling, logistics, and genetics, thanks to generous support from SCF, RZSS, Le Cornelle (Italy), Monde Sauvage (Belgium), and Dublin Zoo (Ireland). 

 Our team’s success with SH oryx has stimulated similar Marwell & DGF projects for reintroduced addax (in partnership with RZSS, Al Ain Zoo-UAE and San Diego Zoo Global-USA), and the North African ostrich in Tunisia (for more details visit www.marwell.org.uk/conservation ).

*This image is copyright of its original author

Sadly, many countries do not have protected areas of sufficient size and with enough suitable habitat to support self-sustainable populations of large-bodied animals. Our fragmented population model may be the only pragmatic option that many countries can adopt if they want to see the return of these species. Marwell and the DGF are working to recreate natural species assemblages through management interventions across the network of protected areas in Tunisia, and the results will inform similar projects in other areas. An already tangible output is the Tunisian strategy for “re-wilding” areas that have been intensively overgrazed by domestic livestock.
 
Tunisia has demonstrated a strong commitment to the conservation and restoration of Sahelo-Saharan wildlife, and Marwell is honoured to partner with the DGF and will continue to collaborate on Tunisian conservation initiatives for the foreseeable future. 
 
M. Petretto, T. Gilbert, P. Riordan - Marwell Wildlife

CHALLENGES OF SAHELO-SAHARAN ANTELOPE REINTRODUCTIONS:
 DEPLETION IN THE WILD VS ABUNDANCE IN CAPTIVITY
Fri, 11/23/2018 - 14:40 / 0 Comments


The conservation community is facing a paradox related to the difficulties of reintroducing and/or reinforcing some species which are declining and disappearing in the wild while the number of individuals keeps increasing in captivity and overpopulation is becoming an issue, e.g.: Scimitar-horned Oryx and addax in zoos and private collections.

Based on the IUCN guidelines for reintroduction of antelope species, it is recommended to build up the most viable world herd by selecting individuals from captivity according to the studbooks and avoid genetic bottle neck. However, many challenges will come out while creating a world herd. Indeed, the lack of collaborative platform amongst zoos over the world is one big challenge and between zoos and private owners is another one.

The C2S2 (Conservation Centers for Species Survival ) initiative in United States appears to be an effective solution but it could be even more effective if it was extended to the rest of the world. The increasing restrictions about wildlife transportation from a continent to another one is also a major impediment to create suitable world herd. At last, the difference of objectives between zoos and conservation organizations is another constraint. Everybody agrees on the fact that species are declining in the wild and conservation in situ and ex-situ are both necessary. Nevertheless, the devil is in the details and while the zoo community will favor subspecies conservation for exhibition purpose, conservation organizations will favor genetic diversity to maximize resilience in a reintroduction context.

We hope the upcoming workshop dealing with Dama gazelle conservation which will take place in Al Ain Zoo by the end of this year, will bring solutions and will enable immediate actions to save this species in the wild. While experts keep arguing about the right thing to do, species are going extinct. Unfortunately, time is not on the side of conservation and swift action is needed to save what remains from extinction.


*This image is copyright of its original author
 Thomas Rabeil, SCF Regional Program Officer
THREATS TO EGYPTIAN VULTURES
Fri, 11/23/2018 - 15:29 / 0 Comments


The Egyptian Vulture is facing an important decline worldwide, and the Balkans have not been spared: from the hundreds of pairs historically present in the peninsula, about 70 pairs only are remaining, the population being victim of a 7% decline yearly for the past 30 years.

This rapid decline is hard to prevent as it is due to a complex combination of factors. Threats are multiple and differ from one region to another, putting pressure on the vultures on their breeding ground as well as along their migration routes. 
 
Within the framework of the Egyptian Vulture NEW LIFE project, SCF is investigating the main threats vultures are facing on their wintering grounds, mainly in Niger, and particularly mortality from electrocution, accidental poisoning through the use of veterinary medicine for cattle or agricultural products (mainly Diclofenac)  known to be fatal for vultures when feeding on contaminated carcasses, the  or along the same line, the use of poisons, mainly strychnine, known for its high toxicity and used to control wild carnivores,  or direct killing by poachers aiming at selling vulture parts for magical (or belief based) uses. 

*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author

For all these issues the team is investigating in the field as well as among administrations so that information can be gathered that should enable identification of the priority level of  each threat   and so prioritize our actions. 
As first results, even though the severity degree for every threat cannot be estimated with exactitude, poaching was found to be  acute in the region, possibly the most important threat. Indeed, cases had already been registered (cf. Paschalis case ) and the practice of this illegal activity has been confirmed by locals during interviews. 

As for the other threats listed above, they seem unlikely to be responsible for decimating large numbers of birds. Indeed, the country has only few electric infrastructures, mainly concentrated around cities, minimizing, or even excluding EV electrocution possibilities. As for poisoning, more investigation is still needed but as far as we know no EV cadavers, evidence of an accidental death, have been found, relegating such threats to a second level. 
 
Also, based on the previous results and simultaneously with  further investigation and follow-up activities,  preventive work will  be conducted with the view to raise awareness among local communities. Their understanding and support is crucial to the long-term success of such conservation endeavour. 
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  Vacancies WildFact
Posted by: peter - 11-22-2018, 12:33 AM - Forum: Suggestion, Feedback and Complaint - No Replies
WANT TO GET ACTIVE AT WILDFACT?

Wildfact was started by Sanjay and yours truly just over 4 years ago. The reason was a genuine interest in the natural world. Another reason was we wanted to offer those living in the emerald forests and the deep blue sea a voice. And those interested in what they had to say a room with a view.

Most forums in which animals feature perish sooner or later. In nearly all cases, animosity of some kind is the cause. For this reason, we decided to focus on rules, good moderation and quality in all departments. 

We didn't quite know what to expect when we started, but the initial goal was to survive a few years. The results were spectaculair. Well over 8 million views say many of you are interested in good information about the natural world.

Time to change a few things.  

In the near future, we want to improve in all departments. Developing a forum isn't a result of money only. In the end, quality is the deciding factor. It always is. In order to realize our goals, active members able to deliver in that respect in particular are needed.

Interested in selecting the 

- post of the week?
- photograph of the week?
- newspaper article of the week?
- thread of the week?
- debate of the week?

- article of the month?
- project of the month (referring to conservation and education)?
- country of the month (referring to initiatives regarding conservation and wildlife trafficking)?
- documentary of the month?
- trip of the month?

Interested in moderation? Social media? 

Let us know.

Conditions?

1 - A genuine interest in (and any kind of knowledge of) the natural world.
2 - Willingness to interact in a respectful way, no matter what. Race, religion and politics are out, that is.
3 - Willingness to work in a team.
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Information Sri-Lanka(n)/Ceylon Lion, Ceylon (Bengal) Tiger & Ceylon (Asiatic) Cheetah
Posted by: Sanju - 11-16-2018, 06:13 PM - Forum: Extinct Animals - Replies (13)
Sri Lanka’s Extinct Big Cats:
Although relatively unknown, there is a very great possibility that our land was once home to big cats aside from the present day leopards – specifically, lions and tigers, and not just the ones depicted in ancient art and architecture.
Archaeologists in Sri Lanka have dug up a number of interesting finds over the decades, one of the most popular being the skeletal fragments and cultural remains of the cannibalistic Balangoda Man. Apart from this, among the most interesting discoveries are perhaps the fossils of prehistoric mammals, including big cats.


According to Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, one of the country’s leading experts in zooarchaeology and palaeontology, many of the mammal fossils were found in the Ratnapura district, and these findings, specially named ‘Ratnapura fauna’, refer to fossils mostly found embedded in gem gravels, locally known as ‘illama’. These fossils can be found anywhere between 4 metres to 12 metres below ground, or sometimes even as deep as 35 metres under.

Quote:The Quaternary includes two geologic epochs: the Pleistocene and the Holocene. Both epochs divided to faunal stages and human cultural phases based on climate and sea level cycles for the past three million years. Quaternary ice age begins roughly 2.58 Ma with both "cool and dry climate" conditions. Australopithecines and many of the extinct genera of mammalian mega fauna appeared in this time.
Thus, the Quaternary period show the "extinctions of numerous predominantly larger, especially mammalian mega faunal species", many of them lived during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene epoch.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The debate on the demise of the mammalian megafauna is often characterized by two highly polarized points of view: (1) climate-induced extinction; and (2) human-induced extinction. In Pleistocene period, most parts of the Northern Hemisphere were covered with glaciers creating a cold climate. Due to this glacial formation the main sea level was much lower than today. The low sea level facilitated the connection of Sri Lanka with the Indian mainland with a land bridge. Therefore a number of "mega and micro fauna" was able to cross to Sri Lanka from India. In Pleistocene era Sri Lanka experienced "heavy rainfall and covered with rain forest". These heavy showers in the Sabaragamu basin provide habitats for a number of Marsh loving mammals and other animals. However at the end of Pleistocene the climate changes resulted in the extinction of number of a animals. Pleistocene fauna in Sri Lanka is known as "Rathnapura Fauna". These fossils were found in alluvial deposits of Sabaragamu basins.

The Pleistocene is generally recognized as a time of gigantism in terrestrial mammals. The causes for such gigantism are not completely understood, but they most likely "include a
response to colder conditions and an improved ability to resist predators and reach food higher on shrubs or buried beneath snow" (Britanica.com 2014). Ninety percent of the animals
represented by Quaternary fossils were recognized by Charles Lyell (1820) as being similar to modern forms including many genera and even species of shellfish, insects, marine
microfossils, and terrestrial mammalian mega fauna living today are similar or identical to their Pleistocene ancestors (Britania.com 2014). Many Pleistocene fossils demonstrate spectacular differences from of 1833 to up to date by palaenotologists, geologist, sedimentologists, the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA), International Geological Correlation Programmes (IGCPs), International Union for Geological Sciences (IUGS) and individuals from different disciplines and geographical locations have been discussed Chalrs Lyells findings (1830), and found extinct and new marine and terrestrial fauna emphasizing the Quaternary period. Such studies are very useful for further
investigation of extinction of the mammalian megafauna from different regions of the world. The Indian subcontinent represents a rich source of diverse paleoanthropological data in the form of pollen assemblages, various isotopic records, vertebrate and invertebrate fossil assemblages, and prehistoric stone tools in a range of palaeoecological contexts (Metzke et al 2010). Most of the Quaternary fossil evidence, including hominin specimens comes from the fluvial sediments of the Narmada and other similar rivers (Chauhan, 2008). During the
Quaternary climate and sea level changes, which were followed the glacial and interglacial stages, allowed to fauna migrating or lodging in continents as well as nearing islands
(Katupotha, 2013). "Therefore a number of mega and micro fauna was able to cross to Sri Lanka from India". The last land bridge was emerged around 7500 yr BP (Katupotha 1995). The diverse paleoanthropological records, vertebrate and invertebrate fossil assemblages, and prehistoric stone tools in a range of palaeoecological contexts found in Sri Lanka from "Gem pits/gravels and coastal deposits proved such" (Deranigala 1958; S.U. Deraniyaga 1992).

Fossil identification was carried out according to the "special characters that found in those fossils and anatomical comparisons also were done" (EASL research center, Kuruwita 2015). Relative Dating was used to place those fossils in correct positions of the geological time scale (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another). Biostratigraphy was used to place them in a correct order but we do not yield any numerical estimates, which related to C datingor thermo luminescence (TL). As primary sources early research and publications were studied. For fossil characterization and studying of special features digital vernier caliper (150mm: 6”), and Scale bars were used. For locating those fossil bearing places Garmin 30 GPS with Base Camp GIS was also used. Pleistocene fossils from Sabaragamu Basin (Fig. 1) in Ratnapura district of Sri Lanka discovered in association with “Ratnapura (alluvial deposits) gem pits”. Fossils were described as the “Ratnapura Fauna” by Deraniyagala (1958), and were "trying to identification, classification, taxonomy and describe their palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology and palaeoenvironment".

1. Sri-Lanka Lion/Ceylon lion (Panthera leo sinhaleyus):
Panthera leo (the lion) fossilis laid upon the gem field at a depth of 6.5m below the surface from a gem pit about four miles away at "Pahala Vela, Galadande Mandiya, Gonapitiiya,
Kuruwita near the Kuru Ganga". The holotype is a third lower left carnassial in the Deraniyagala collection at the British Museum (Deraniyagala, 1958). This race is restricted to Sri Lanka; originally the lion appears to have inhabited Sri Lanka and India and was possibly replaced by the so called Bengal tiger and the forest habitats that invaded India arid ecosystems from the Northeast. The similarity between the African name is “Simba” = Lion, and the Indian equivalent Simha suggests that one is derived from the other.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The lack of lion fossils in Africa "suggests that the African is derived from the Indian Panthera leo sinhaleyus" also known as the Sri Lanka(n) Lion, was a prehistoric subspecies of lion, endemic to Sri Lanka. It appears to have become extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, c.39,000-37,000 years ago. This lion is only known from "two teeth", found in alluvial deposits at Kuruwita. Deraniyagala cited fossils of three lion teeth found in the island; one in 1936, another in 1947 and the third in 1961. Manamendra-Arachchi et al (2005) describe that Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct subspecies of lion by its being "narrower and more elongate" than those of recent lions (Asiatic) in the British Natural History Museum collection. It appears that he based his species-identification essentially on Brongersma (1935), confirming this through the examination also of two recent tiger carnassials in the BMNH collection.
His conclusion that the BMNH M 51883 M1 belongs to a lion and not a tiger was supported by Hemmer (1966b) and also by our own examination.

*This image is copyright of its original author

^Left molar M1: A, lingual aspect, Panthera leo sinhaleyus, holotype, BMNH Pal. Dept. M 51883; B, buccal aspect, P. l. sinhaleyus, holotype, BMNH Pal. Dept. M 51883
This might be the first Lion wave of Expansion in which Lion populated the African Continent, Europe through the Iberian Peninsula (which has been split by the Suez Canal at the Isthmus of Suez) and Asia narrow land bridge through turkey and Arabian peninsula. The Primitive Panthera leo gone to Europe became cave lion and populated Eurasia, North and South (northern part) Americas and the lion gone to Asia populated upto western china and India including Sri Lanka in which one of the subspecies of this ancient leo species is the Sri Lankan Lion. The climate and environment favoured for Lion with savanna grasslands-scrub arid lands with sympatric predators- Spotted Hyena, Cheetah, Leopard, Homo erectus and after Homo sapiens. After that Forests ecosystem from south east Asia diversified and spread with climate change into west and south Asia from east Asia, the Primitive lion extinct, the second wave lion expansion happened in late Pleistocene or Holocene about 25-10 thousand years ago and it is Asiatic Lion. Cheetah and leopard survived till then as climate experienced frequent changes of dry and cold climates. Spotted Hyena occurred in northwestern and central Asia came through Iberian peninsula was extinct and living in Africa presently. The modern tigris-Indochinese (Wanhesian Tiger gave rise to South China->rest of all modern subspecies) from Panthera aff tigris which inturn evolved from Panthera cf tigris arrived India between before 20000 years ago as forest ecosystems expanded from the east to India gave rise to Bengal Tiger including Sri Lanka. There might have coexistence between Early leo also and then with asiatic Lion not only in India but also in the island which is unclear for now.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Other Tigers originated from aff tigris which are Pleistocene or prehistoric tigers are: The Trinil tiger (Panthera tigris trinilensis), The Bornean tiger, Wanhsien tiger (Panthera tigris acutidens), The Ngandong tiger (Panthera tigris soloensis), Panthera tigris oxygnatha, Japanese Tiger and where as Panthera tigris sudanensis by Derinayagala is a nothing but a tiger specimen (skin) exported to Africa/Sudan which was killed.

Quote:The lion has been one of the most widespread mammals, having enjoyed a Pleistocene range that included Africa, Eurasia, North America and tropical South America, while the fossil record confirms that the species range in the Indian subcontinent did extend south to the 21st parallel and east to 87º E (Pilgrim 1931; Dutta 1976), approximately a line joining Gujarat to Bengal.
But, there is no evidence of the existence of the lion in Asia, furthur east of Bengal or anywhere in peninsular India and Sri Lanka, except for P. leo sinhaleyus in south and  Panthera leo fossilis in parts of europe, also known as the Early Middle Pleistocene European cave lion, is an extinct feline of the Pleistocene epoch.

*This image is copyright of its original author

^D, buccal aspect, P. l. persica, female, BHNH 31.4.13.2, Gir Forest, India
Paulus Edward Pieris Deraniyagala is a Sri Lankan Paleontologist, Zoologist and Artist discovered this Ceylon Lion subspecies. Modern true lion (Panthera leo) evolved nearly 0.124mya. The First Lion of Same species (Panthera leo) evolved before that about 1,95,000 - 2,05,000 years ago in early East African Lion in late Pleistocene of East Africa came from Panthera shawi. It is thought that the lion lived alongside the humans living there at the time in a peaceful manner. Based on teeth, P. Deraniyagala proposed this subspecies in 1939.  Fossils of Lions also discovered in West Bengal dating back thousands of years ago. The existence of lions in Sri Lanka in prehistoric times was regarded a possibility when, in the 1930s, two fossils were unearthed that appeared to support this idea. Unfortunately, this is the only existing record of a Pleistocene lion. In 1936, two teeth were discovered in Kuruwita in the Ratnapura district, and later recorded by renowned archaeologist at the time, P.E.P. Deraniyagala, as belonging to a lion subspecies endemic to Sri Lanka.

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^Panthera leo sinhaleyus. Canine tooth in right lower mandible. Location- Galukagama MahaEla, Puwakattaovita, Kuruwita 2008 : by Kamal & Aravinda

According to an academic paper co-authored by Manamendra-Arachchi, the fossils were identified as a left lower molar, and a right lower canine. It was the 'former' that helped identify and establish the distinct subspecies, Panthera leo sinhaleyus, since the latter specimen was considered to be “in too poor condition to facilitate diagnosis”.
Quote:Experts assume that the fossils may be up to 100,000 years old, and that Panthera leo sinhaleyus appears to have gone extinct “prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans”.

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The Notodomeri Lion of East Africa has only ruff like primitive mane and primitive tail tuft as all the cats including primitive leo, cave lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards etc.., have nothing to ruff like manes but no true mane like the modern lion's most subspecies which have mane which is peculiar and unique in Felidae.
Notodomeri Lion is the Ancestral Lion subspecies of all modern true lions and prehistoric Lions of Pleistocene and Holocene like first cave lion-Panthera fossilis [(Mosbach lion/upper or Early Middle Pleistocene European cave lion evolved above 0.7 mya is the ancestor of the middle Pleistocene or cromerian lion) spread to Europe from Iberian land bridge region nearly 0.8 mya], Its descendant cave lion-Panthera spelaea [(European cave lion/ Eurasian Cave lion/Cromerian lion/Cave lion/Pleistocene lion/middle Pleistocene lion) evolved below 6,00,000 years ago.], its descendant of Beringia-Panthera vereshchagini [(4,00,000-12,000 years ago from cromerian lion) [also known as the East Siberian and Beringian cave lion.]],  its likely descendent but not confirmed cave lion or lion-Panthera youngi  [is known from fossil remains from Zhoukoudian in China, Middle Pleistocene of Asia (Choukoutien, northeastern China and Japan) and lived about 350,000 years ago. It is believed to be related to modern lions(cave lion) but is often treated as a separate species, and its relation is mostly unknown.] and at last the descendant of vereschagini or Beringian Cave Lion- famous Panthera atrox [(American lion or American cave lion) evolved from Beringian cave lion in late Pleistocene of North America (3,40,000 – 10,000 years ago) also known as the North American lion or American cave lion — is an extinct feline of the family Felidae, endemic to North America during the Pleistocene epoch.], Panthera shawi- (extinct prehistoric cat, believed to be a primitive spotted lion ancestral to the later varieties. The first fossil was found at the Laetoli site in Tanzania and is thought to be approximately 3.5 million years old, is believed to be the oldest known species of the lion).

The Lion related to leopards (evolved between 2.73-1 mya and 800,000 years ago in Africa and spread over or radiated to the Holarctic region along with the dark continent. but, this lineage started from 3.5 mya since Panthera shawi closely related to leopards appeared) had at least 7–8 known or more species with their number of sub-species (despite the controversies about they are all of same leo group species and lies in sub-species rank or other classification disputes).
Expansion may have been favored by the start of a warmer and less arid period in Africa 130,000–70,000 years ago. This “out-of-Africa event” would have occurred much later than the initial lion expansion through Eurasia based on fossils (∼500,000 years ago). It is likely that multiple lion expansions occurred in the Pleistocene, as occurred with humans.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/

The first lion-like cat appeared in East Africa 10.8 mya it is the common ancestor for the modern leopard who is the cousin of the lion and ancestral species of Pantherinae.
Feliformia - New World Encyclopedia
Extinct Animals Images - Prehistoric Fauna Reconstructions
Felidae Evolution

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https://www.researchgate.net/publication..._Sri_Lanka
http://www.geosocindia.org/index.php/jgs...view/63924
http://www.academia.edu/1261927/Large_ma..._Sri_Lanka
https://www.archaeology.lk/5907
http://www.aelsindia.com/dec_2016/4.pdf
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep3080..._evolution
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572142/
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/c...f-ref-27-1
https://web.archive.org/web/201305021011..._Lions.pdf
http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/wp-c...a-docx.pdf
https://roar.media/english/life/environm...-big-cats/

2. Sri Lanka(n) (Bengal) Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris):
"THE SECOND EXTINCT BIG CAT FROM THE LATE QUATERNARY OF SRI LANKA"

Quote:"A second extinct big cat, tentatively considered to be a tiger (Panthera tigris), is recorded from Sri Lanka for the first time from a fossil left lower carnassial found in alluvium near Ratnapura in 1962 and a sub-fossil right middle phalanx 14C dated to ~ 16,500 ybp, discovered in 1982 in a prehistoric midden at Batadomba Cave, near Kuruwita. The species is diagnosed from the only other big cats known from Sri Lanka, Panthera pardus and the extinct P. leo sinhaleyus Deraniyagala, 1938. This record significantly advances the timing of dispersal of tigers into the Indian peninsula. Tigers appear to have arrived in Sri Lanka during a pluvial period during which sea levels were depressed, evidently prior to the last glacial maximum ca. 20,000 years ago. The lion appears to have become extinct in Sri Lanka prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, ca.37,000 ybp."

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Tiger is a member of the Felidae family and the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. The Panthera tigris tigris (Bengal tiger) is a tiger subspecies native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The pattern of genetic variation in the Bengal tiger corresponds to the premise that tigers arrived in India approximately 12,000 y ago. Kitchener and Dugmore (2000) consider that the changing biogeographical range of the Panthera tigris through the last glacial-interglacial cycle, based on habitat associations of modern tiger specimen records, and environmental reconstructions from the LGM. These cycles indicate that the numerous glacial cycles that span the evolutionary history of the tigers since its appearance in the fossil record about 2 Ma ago and the oldest tiger fossils (around 2 Ma old) are from northern China and Java. The key issue is to determine the extent to which ancestral populations of the tiger were geographically isolated. However, Pleistocene glacial and interglacial fluctuations and other geological events probably caused repeated geographic restrictions and expansions of tigers. Hemmer (1987), Kitchener and Dugmore (2000) estimated the most recent common ancestor for tiger mtDNA haplotypes was 72,000–108,000 years ago, with a lower and upper bound of 39,000 years and 157,000 years, respectively.

Recent history of tigers in the Indian subcontinent is consistent with the lack of tiger fossils from India prior to the late Pleistocene and the absence of tigers from Sri Lanka, which was separated from the subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene. However, a recent study of two independent fossil finds from Sri Lanka, one dated to approximately 16,500 years ago, tentatively classifies them as being a tiger (Manamendra-Arachchi 2005). However, "the discovery of the Ratnapura tiger in alluvium, together with hippopotamus and rhinoceros fossils, demonstrates that tigers did indeed occur in the island". Nine fossils and sub fossils were identified that belongs to Tiger. Five of the fossils dated among those and identified aged 14,000 – 20,000 old. One fossil identified that is belongs to "Lion". "Tiger was living BEFORE 17,000 years" (Manamendra-Arachchi 2009). The Holocene range of the tiger extends to the southernmost tip of peninsular India and to all of tropical continental Asia. Before, the apparent absence of evidence of tiger fossils in Sri Lanka and Pleistocene peninsular India has led to the conclusion that tigers arrived in south India “too late to get into Ceylon” (Pocock 1930) as a result of the India -Sri Lanka land bridge having been submerged since the Late Pleistocene.

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On the basis of the few known Indian tiger fossils dating to the Holocene and the recent literature too, dates of the arrival of tigers to the Indian peninsula were occurred in the last glacial maximum, ca. 12,000 yr BP. Panthera tigris probably differentiated in the early Pleistocene (1.806–2.588 Ma ago) in northcentral and northeastern China. The earliest forms averaged smaller than those of later Pleistocene times. It thus seems that the species has reached its maximum size in the living subspecies P. t. altaica. The early Pleistocene species Panthera palaeosinensis, from northern China, appears to represent an early tiger or a form ancestral to the tiger (Mazak 1981) like P. aff(/cf). tigris.

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Quote:Researches on fossil remains have been conducted by many scientists, and Mazak (1981) summarizes them. Accordingly fossil remains, definitely identified as Tiger, are of lower to upper Pleistocene age and originate from the Altai caves in central Asia, eastern and northern China, including Choukoutien localities, Japan, Jana River in northern Siberia, the Ljachov Island situated off the northern coast of Siberia, and from Sumatra and Java. In addition, several sub-Recent tiger remains were found in Caucasus region, India, and Borneo. It is not clear whether the material from Borneo represents a member of the native late Pleistocene fauna or a later introduction by humans (there is no reliable evidence of tigers on Borneo within historic times).
Apart from the leopard, which still persists in all natural habitats across Sri Lanka, the only big cat recognised from the island is an extinct lion, known only from two teeth found in alluvial deposits at Kuruwita (06°47’N, 80°22’E). Based on these, P. [E. P.] Deraniyagala (1939) erected a new subspecies of lion, Panthera leo sinhaleyus, designating a left lower carnassial (M1) as holotype (the other, a fragment of a right lower canine, in too poor condition to facilitate diagnosis, was lodged as a ‘metatype’ in NMSL: P. Deraniyagala, 1947). The lion has been one of the most widespread of all noncommensal mammals, having enjoyed a Pleistocene range that included Africa, Eurasia, North America and tropical South America (Nowak, 1999: 834). While the fossil record confirms that the species’ range in the Indian subcontinent did extend south to the 21st parallel and east to 87º E (Pilgrim, 1931; Dutta, 1976)—approximately a line joining Gujarat to Bengal—there is no evidence of the existence of the lion in Asia east of Bengal or anywhere in peninsular India and Sri Lanka, except for P. leo sinhaleyus. The Holocene range of the tiger, however, extends to the southernmost tip of peninsular India and to all of tropical continental Asia (Hooijer, 1947; Aziz & de Vos, 1999). The apparent absence of evidence of tigers in Sri Lanka and Pleistocene peninsular India has led to the conclusion that tigers arrived in south India “too late to get into Ceylon”.

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Unlike in the case of the lion, more comprehensive studies are available on the possible existence of a prehistoric tiger in Sri Lanka, thanks to the availability of more fossil specimens to go by. The existence of Panthera tigris has been supported by the discovery of nine fossils and subfossils. However, "radiocarbon dates are only available for four of these fossils", which place the tiger’s existence at around "14,000 to 17,000 years ago" ‒ which means the tigers roamed our country for long after the Ceylon lion is believed to have gone extinct in atmost 3000 ya. In fact, according to Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, the discovery of tiger fossils in the same areas as the ‘kitchen midden’ of the Balangoda man, suggests that not only would these tigers have existed around the same time, but tiger may have even have been hunted for food by that cannibalistic prehistoric man.

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The right middle phalanx of the now extinct tiger found at the Batadomba lena. Image courtesy Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi.
Many of these fossils were discovered in Kuruwita, in the Ratnapura district. Here’s a breakdown of the tiger fossils according to when and where they were discovered:
  1. A lower left first molar tooth (fossil), discovered by P. E. P. Deraniyagala in 1963.
  2. A complete middle phalanx, a fragment of the distal phalanx, a fragment of the proximal phalanx, and a fragment of an upper premolar tooth found in the Batadomba cave (‘Batadomba lena’) in Kuruwita, in 1982
  3. A complete right astragalus and a fragment of the distal phalanx, found in the Fa-Hien Cave in Bulatsinhala (Kalutara District), in 2009
  4. A fragment of the distal phalanx and a premolar tooth found in Potgul Lena in Alavala (Gampaha District), between December 2008 to May 2009
What Else Do These Fossils Tell Us?

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Image courtesy: hitchhikersguidetosrilanka.wordpress.com
Although Sri Lanka has many, many traditional depictions of lions, these don’t have any connection to the prehistoric species believed to have once existed. One of the most pertinent concerns is, of course, what caused the extinction of these big cats. This is a difficult question to answer, said Manamendra-Arachchi, although he added that changes in climate and loss of habitat could be a key factor, as well as possible hunting by other animals and man. He explained that both the lion and the tiger required very specific habitats, especially the lion, which is an open grassland species mainly.

Experts have noted, “The lions therefore appear to have been victims of the advancing rainforests and dense monsoon forests that accompanied the pluvial phase that saw the advent of the tiger in Sri Lanka. While the Kuruwita and Ratnapura fossils show that lions and tigers were sympatric in this area, however, there is no evidence to suggest they were syntopic [sharing the same habitat at the same time].”

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Quote:Since the tiger is often associated with rainforest habitat, the discovery of tiger fossils in the Ratnapura district has led experts to believe that what is today considered the ‘dry zone’ in Sri Lanka, may actually, hundreds and thousands of years ago, have been rainforest area.
The discovery of many other fossil specimens in the same area over the years, has also indicated the existence of other mammals, including "two species of rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, and two species of elephant", in prehistoric times. Given that these animals today live in relatively dry habitats, Manamendra-Arachchi believes these specimens may have roamed Sri Lanka closer to the time of Panthera leo sinhaleyus, which also required a dry habitat.

Finally, is there any connection between the pre-historic Ceylon lion and the many depictions of lions found in ancient Sri Lankan art, architecture, and folklore? Given that the fossils unearthed have placed the animal’s existence at a time long before human civilisation, this is highly unlikely, says Manamendra-Arachchi, adding that the depictions of lions here were very likely by artists and sculptors who, in all likelihood, had never set eyes on the animal themselves.

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Featured image courtesy spyderonlines.com


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3. Ceylon(Asiatic) Cheetah (Acionyx jubatus venaticus):

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Cheetahs made a sudden appearance in the fossil records around the globe at almost the same time, about 3.5 to 4 million years ago in the Pliocene, so it is difficult to determine exactly where they first arose. It appears that the cheetah split from other large cats several million years ago in a lineage that includes the puma and jaguarundi, a small South American cat. Cheetahs, pumas and jaguarundis are closely related with anatomical similarities, corroborated by recent molecular analysis. In prehistoric times, the cheetah's distribution was more extensive; several species of cheetah-like cats were widely distributed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America up to only 10,000 years ago. The opening up of habitat during the Pliocene favoured a cursorial (running) lifestyle, which cheetahs have exploited to the maximum. The oldest known fossil records of the modern cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus are from East Africa about 3.5 million years ago, with slightly later records in southern Africa and Asia. A very large cheetah, Acinonyx pardinesis, lived in Europe during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, from about 3.2 million to 500,000 years ago. Fossils that have been uncovered suggest that cheetahs originated from North America and migrated to the Old World at around 5.5 million years ago. These fossils are largely similar to the modern cheetah’s skeleton, which means that prehistoric cheetahs probably possessed the very same anatomy required to survive in their environments, albeit with some differences.

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A. pardinensis was the size of a small modern-day lion and weighed up to 105 kg, but had the same limb proportions as a modern-day cheetah. Because of its larger mass, A. pardinesis wasn't as fast as today's cheetah, but was still able to swiftly pursue its prey across the grassy steppes of Eurasia. At the same time as the European cheetah, a genus of sprinting cheetah-like cats called Miracinonyx arose in North America. The earliest species Miracinonyx inexpectatus, weighing up to 95 kg, was only slightly smaller than the European A. pardinensis, while the later form Miracinonyx trumani was smaller and resembled the modern cheetah, A. jubatus. M. Trumani survived up to 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Both American cheetah-like species exhibited the same small, domed skull and slim, elongated bones of the existing species today, but differed in a number of skeletal features, including retention of fully retractile claws. M. expectatus had intermediate body proportions between a puma and a cheetah, but was more versatile, running faster than a puma and better equipped for climbing than a cheetah.
A fossilized skull of a new species of primitive cheetah, Acinonyx kurteni, was recently found in China.
The skull, between 2.16 and 2.55 million years old, is about the same size as living cheetahs but has a very wide braincase, enlarged frontal sinuses and primitive teeth. The discovery of this skull may cast doubt on the theory that cheetahs evolved in North America and spread into Eurasia and Africa. On the other hand, it is possible that the modern cheetah, A. jubatus, first evolved in Africa from an earlier species on the cheetah-puma lineage that had arisen elsewhere and colonised Africa, spreading into Eurasia.
For example: during the early and middle Pleistocene, roaming the wide open plains of Europe and China was a species called the giant cheetah (see above), so named because it had the size of a lion (around 2 meters long). But just like its modern-day counterpart, this feline was built for speed despite its size, capable of outrunning its prey (ibex and elks, these two being larger than today’s gazelles) at around 112 km/h or more, due to its longer legs and back.

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Why did cheetahs migrate from North America towards Africa and Asia, you might ask? Genome studies suggest that the spotted cats’ populations may have experienced a sharp decline around 100,000 years ago, either due to widespread diseases or a heavy depletion of prey species at around the end of the Ice Age, an event that lowered genetic variability. Other cheetah species could have been evolving elsewhere in the world (North America and Eurasia) at the same time, possibly from the same distant ancestor of the African (modern) cheetah. There are still large gaps of knowledge of cheetah evolution because few fossils have been found. The cheetah appears to have suffered a series of severe population reductions or "bottlenecks" in its history, with the most significant probably occurring during the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Drastic changes in the earth's climate resulted in a major extinction of vertebrates worldwide (75% of all mammals in North America and Europe died). Over a few thousand years, all the cheetahs in North America and Europe, and most of those in Asia and Africa died. Cheetahs may have migrated to more suitable environments as ice covered a large part of the northern hemisphere and sea levels fell. The cheetah survived the mass extinction of the Pleistocene Epoch, but its numbers were greatly reduced. Brothers were left to reproduce with sisters and parents with siblings, which led to inbreeding. Today's population are direct descendents of the survivors, the only cheetah species that survived. The cheetah was first described scientifically by J.C.D. von Schreber in 1775 as Felis jubata from a specimen collected at the Cape of Good Hope.


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This is proof that the cheetah has perfectly evolved to become the world’s fastest land animal, and to overcome all obstacles with its tremendous speed. Unfortunately, nowadays, its future is uncertain: indeed, even its incredible speed is not enough to escape all the man-made catastrophes (trophy hunting, habitat loss, poaching, conflicts with farmers, global warming…). Therefore, it’s only up to us humans to help cheetah populations replenish again. Eventually, cheetahs left the Americas towards their current ranges in Africa and Asia, where they thrived, roamed by the millions, and evolved many adaptations that enhanced their sprinting abilities (the elongated spine, the non-retractile claws, the long tail used for balance…).

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---------->Modern Cheetah (Acionyx jubatus) historical range map.
           



The one and only Extant, Endangered and Surviving Last Big Cat of Lanka:
Sri Lankan(Ceylon) Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya):
According to a BBC article, the Sri Lankan leopard an endangered cat has evolved to become a rather large leopard subspecies with very large males reaching almost 220 lb (100 kg), due to the fact that it is an apex predator without competition by other large wild cat species in the country. The leopard is sympatric with the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear. On the island of Sri Lanka, leopards are the reigning top predator and, with no other big cat to compete with, they have become super-sized – the biggest leopards in the world besides Central African Congo leopards  and Persian leopards.

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'Ivan' is reputedly the biggest leopard in the world (credit: BBC / Paul Williams)
Elsewhere they are elusive predators, but here they have little to fear and can be seen proudly sauntering along the roads of Yala, the country’s most famous national park. Boasting the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world, Yala is also home to the biggest of them all. Weighing in at almost 100kg, Ivan the one-eyed leopard enjoys a notoriety in these parts. It wasn’t long before we detected the heat signature of a large male as it appeared from behind a bush. I was startled by how big it was. I’ve filmed leopards elsewhere in the world, but this cat looked more like a jaguar – a more muscular, powerful animal with larger jaws.
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141013-...ds-of-yala

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----->Modern Leopard (Panthera pardus) historical range map.
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  Biggest animal on earth ever
Posted by: Sanju - 11-14-2018, 10:21 AM - Forum: Debate and Discussion about Wild Animals - Replies (2)
1.Plesiosauria:

Shastasaurid icthyosaur

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https://curiosity.com/topics/this-giant-...curiosity/

2.Bruhathkayosaurus- Bruhathkayosaurus malteyi  might have been between 40–44 m (131–144 ft) in length and “175–220” greater than blue whale tonnes in weight according to some estimates. Its remains found in our country India. This might also be the biggest animal ever. The skeleton lost when floods occurred and assumptions are there that some bones might be fossilized wood. The scientist who put the estimate then said that the estimates are inaccurate afterwards and weight may be somewhat less. The skeleton remains lost during floods. It’s not clear that it’s a real animal, as the few remains we had of it were washed away in a monsoon flood, leaving only some unclear line drawings which could show fragments of sauropod bones or could show petrified wood. At any rate, even if it’s a real animal, it might have been slightly longer than a blue whale but would have been a lot less massive, since a sauropod’s length is mostly long thin neck and tail.
Mickey Mortimer said Bruhathkayosaurus could have been 175–220 tonnes heavy in 2001, but he later changed his opinion and said these numbers are inaccurate but didn’t provide a new mass estimate.


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Any animals, other than these that rival blue whale friends? post your findings... :)
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  Oleg Zubhkov-Lions TAIGAN Park
Posted by: Sanju - 11-13-2018, 06:50 PM - Forum: Captive & Domesticated Animals - Replies (30)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5NcNJP...-0K3IpBZ5Q

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMEDtUN...-eKrMF5OLA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIPr0W2...kolN6Irg1w


There are many of them in circuses, zoos etc.., in fact, there are lion tamers more than any other coz they are popular, social & docile and easy to tame. The best Tiger and Lion tamer in the world ever is Олег Зубков it is his name coz he is Russian and by google translating his name it came Oleg Zubkov….. I didn’t say one of the best. He is the best.


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It is this Russian though it is difficult in general to tame the tiger than lion though they look easily docile, submitting and tamed than lions but Tigers are ones who deceive and mostly attack the tamers and break from captivity. Hence, he raises both animals but uses lions for safari purpose. This Russian does you tube shows on the lions though he is both tiger and lion tamer and People around the world come to his Lions TAIGAN Zoo Safari Park in CRIMEA, IN RUSSIA/UKRAINE-special zoo+safari to touch, selfies and videos feel and hug lions and others may be he earns income by this. He felt it is easy to tame lions to do shows and daily many people come to him and he takes them to safari in his own reserve in Russia and it is not an ordinary safari people go play with them, film them, take selfies do everything with them coz the man is very strict and rude towards animals and his dominance is clearly visible to animals so as long as he is there no lion dare to attack people even they beat them. He is not just a tamer but the controller of the pride and alpha more like Jurassic park blue and the raptor gang. He is the director and owner of that zoo and safari which has a long history.

https://youtu.be/zX6ZNmDmk5g

They do what he says to them. All the captive lions are aside and these some 100+ lions aside coz they grew under him very strictly and dominance and he is their alpha, beta, gamma and everything. they are no less than domestic dogs. They are friendly to him and other daily customers in presence of that guy. These are the tamestishhhhhh lions in the world and he is the best tamer of all time. He also has many leopards, tigers, bears etc.., Even he puts Lion man Kevin Richardson and tiger man John Varty etc.., like people to shame coz they raised the animals and are friendly like them and didn’t show dominance so they sometimes attack but this guy is unique and unpopular.

https://youtu.be/I_W8xkcXtR8

They can kill him in seconds but they don’t coz his restrictive behaviour and dominance made them like less than docile domestic dogs coz at least dogs bark at the outsiders but these... nope. no aggression in his presence. if anything looks dangerous he just scolds and curses them/slap them with hand or shoe/slipper/sandal.

Know more about him to get amused.
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  Cheetah Reintroduction in India
Posted by: Sanju - 11-12-2018, 08:40 AM - Forum: Projects, Protected areas & Issues - Replies (55)
Since 1980's Indian government wanted to regain it's extinct animal which is the only big vertebrate or placental mammal extinct in past 200 yrs i.e.., Indian or asiatic cheetah (Acionyx jubatus venaticus) which was extinct in 1950's officially. Since then, Indian government wanted to bring back the Indian/Asiatic cheetah.

1. Asiatic cheetah reintroduction project from Iran in India considered was first considered for this vital step of asiatic cheetah conservation by reintroduction. however It is lost now and almost impossible now as currently gir lions can't be shifted even with other states within the country and there is no question going outside country and secondly Iranian AKA asiatic cheetah is almost extinct in wild with less than 50 individuals counted individually and the population trend is decreasing according to recent census with hostile human matrix and other anthropocentric factors, low prey base, lack of full fledged protection due to insufficient funds etc..,

2. Namibian cheetah introduction project in India was looked as an alternative for this prestigious conservational issue after the lost hope of iran and this measure treated as last thing left to do. This alternative option is being constantly verified by government of Madhya Pradesh as both are of same species and not against rule of introduction of non-native "species" according IUCN guidelines and helpful in conservation of "at least" south African cheetah outside the dark continent as Asiatic cheetah can't be saved now and restoring the balance for the collapsing and extincting indian grassland ecosystems as an apex predator besides Indian wolf and Asiatic lion (with the help of Asiatic lion reintroduction). Namibia is ready to give some cheetahs to india but die to instability in implementation by Indian administration which is pulling back the project even after the order of supreme court in 2013.

Thereby conserving the grasslands flora and faunal herbivores from extinction as a whole in the rare "Indian grassland" ecosystems with both cheetah and lion reintroduction programme.
But, due to recent disagreement of the experts with the project as there is lesser space and prey when compared to African game reserves/national parks made the project to again put on hold and other problems too much peeped by experts like how will be reflex from the Indian local people from this new carnivore which they didn't saw from more than a half century and other things like Indian people confuse between leopard and cheetah which is not aggressive or dangerous to humans even though they have potential unlike leopards. So people may kill them, as they look like leopards.

These things can be mitigated with the proper awareness and educational programs with the local communities in the surrounding cheetah relocation sites. As India, doesn't want a big population like in Africa but a small population, the space required for about 50 individuals in each proposed site. so, there is sufficient space in places like nauradehi and enough for some 30 individuals in kuno and other parts of Rajasthan reserves and for those type of small populations prey base in numbers and diversity with its main game like black buck, chinkara or Indian gazelle and chausinga etc.., is fair and sufficient in kuno and nauradehi with a potential to hold a good and healthy population.

With proper protection and measures, this populations can be increased more in those reintroduced regions/areas. let's see how table turns.
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  Tiger-Lion Coexistence in Eurasia between Middle Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs
Posted by: Sanju - 11-10-2018, 07:23 PM - Forum: Extinct Animals - Replies (35)
This thread should be about the discussion of coexistence in b/w Lion and Tiger in Eurasian Wilderness in Late Pleistocene to Holocene's 19th century. Though they lived together only in small part of Europe continent i.e.., south-eastern Europe it is still a part of the continent.

Coexisted Ones:

  • In Late Pleistocene:- Tiger Subspecies like Wanhesian or Panthera tigris acutidens---------with Pleistocene Lion species like ancient ancestral primitive lion like Panthera leo precursor like Sinhaleyus subspecies; Panthera vereshchagini or Beringian Cave Lion and  Panthera Spelaea (not fossilis).
  • In Holocene:- Tiger Subspecies like Amur; Bengal; Indochinese and Caspian tiger (all come under tigris or mainland subspecies)---------------with Modern/Holocene lion subspecies like Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica/leo) and European lion (Panthera leo europea/leo).

These coexisted for over 50,000-30,000 of years preferring different habitats in the same Ecoregion and it is the major reason for the implementation of Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno and Rajasthan’s Sita, Khumbalgarh analogous to Yellow stone wolf reintroduction (apex predator) to restore ecological diversity and balance of open biomes.

In ecology, they are two types of Inter-species interactions in Animal communities which we can discuss here leaving others like Symbiosis, Mutualism, Parasitism  etc...

  1. Competition is one of the most ubiquitous of species interactions. It occurs any time a resource that is essential to growth and reproduction (e.g., food, shelter, nesting sites) occurs in short supply. The acquisition of the resource by one individual simultaneously deprives others’ access to it, and this has a negative effect on the fitness of individuals and the per capita growth rates of populations. Competition is thus an interaction that has mutually negative effects on the participants.

   2. Coexistence results when populations of several species that utilize the same limiting resources manage to persist within the same locality. Competition exists b/w all species occupying and functioning in a niche. Coexistence, helps in reducing the effect of competition but can't extinguish it completely. Coexistence theory is a framework to understand how competitor traits can maintain species diversity and stave-off competitive exclusion even among similar species living in ecologically similar environments. Coexistence theory explains the stable coexistence of species as an interaction between two opposing forces: fitness differences between species, which should drive the best-adapted species to exclude others within a particular ecological niche, and stabilizing mechanisms, which maintains diversity via niche differentiation.

Strategy for Coexistence:
It is the same like other territorial animals mainly Carnivorous mammals.

Pack-Pack (Both Social): This is the most successful match up  Lion-Dhole or Indian Wild Dog [in the past], Lion-Hyena (spotted/striped too sometimes forms clans), Lion- African Wild Dog, Brown Bear-Wolf, Hyena (spotted)-Wild Dog  etc.., you name it.

Solitary-Solitary: This is least successflul most of the time the superior one eliminates inferior due to competitive exclusion or extinction (eg: Bear Dog-Daeodon, in case of predatory  Dinosaurs competitions etc..,) Leopard-Cheetah, Leopard-tiger, Sloth Bear-Tiger, Black bear-Sloth bear, Brown bear-Black Bear, Puma-Jaguar, Spectacled Bear-Jaguar, Brown bear-Wolf, Tiger Shark-Great White, Lynx-Wolverine, Sun Bear-Tiger, Asiatic Black Bear-Tiger, Bear-Boar etc..., you name it.

Pack-Solitary: This combination is the one of the  most successful like Tiger-Dhole, Lion-Leopard, Tiger-Wolf, Leopard-Wolf, Leopard-Wild Dog genus, Puma-Wolf, Sloth bear-Wolf, Sloth Bear-Wild Dog, Striped Hyena-Asiatic Lion, Cheetah-Wild Dogs, Hyenas-Cheetah, Orca-Great White, Lynx-Wolf, Wolverine-wolf, Striped Hyena-Wolf (Arabian mainly), Asiatic Lion-Wolf (past)  are some of the examples of recent times and uncountable of such examples are there since Territorial animals evolution from Amphibians to Dinos to Birds and Mammals. Another Example is our discussion topic i.e.., Lion and Tiger coexistence or co-occurrence to avoid competitive exclusion.

Please once read this typical example of inter-specific interactions #152  #17 solitary-pack interaction in b/w wolf-dhole and striped hyena and wolf throughout Asia.

Did the wolves attack or lunge on the lone striped hyena, can't they win at the last at what cost? some pack members death? animals are not dumb. why would they? is it a prey? whats the need? is it an rival pack or even its own species/clade/genus/family in taxonomy?

Can't Dholes go on killing spree over jackals/foxes/similar packed and similar sized wolves in Asia?
Same questions:
Did the dholes attack or lunge on the small wolves packs, can't they win at the last at what cost? some pack members death? animals are not brainless. why would they? is it a prey? or whats the need? is it an rival pack or even its own species/clade/genus/family in taxonomy?

Even sometimes these interactions become mutualistic or symbiotic beneficial attachments like in #17.

Just don't say FIGHT C'mon bring them on. I don't want to see them fighting in putting both the same area in wild. Its dangerous, they are mortal enemies from past lives. Its revenge. (w**). Think!!!

Some of the animals particularly, Big cats are intelligent, they avoid unnecessary fights with other equally strong/more powerful animal species (except when the opposite animal type is inferior) at all costs which leads to injuries and sometimes death directly or indirectly due to infections of wounds occurred during brawls and damage to body parts bringing disability in either survival or hunting. They are extremely territorial towards conspecies. They do this to ensure the mating rights to ensure passage of  superior genes and to avoid competition for resources which are limited in a given particular area i.e.., territory or home range.

Any animal species particularly predators see other predatorial species as threat/prey(most of the time it is less likely)/competitor for resources. So, the superior one eliminates the inferior when given chance and the inferior one avoids confrontation or conflict/fight with the superior at all costs and controls competition by killing the juveniles as the other side does to do the same. when threatened for life; it's off-spring or stealing food, the inferior one leaves when there is an escape but when there is no escape fight is inevitable but this scenario is almost impossible in wild. inferior ones that are sick or injured or juveniles on either side to minimize the competition. Animals are not killing or fighting machines they know their life value which is important to continue their own race. yes, competitive exclusion or extinction may happen of an inferior species in inter-specific competition in a particular region partially or entirely but mostly that is in the case of solitary-solitary type conflict or competition in the same niche in the ecosystem.

Tiger-Lion not even prefer to live in the same habitat of the same region even if sometimes overlapped the Lion pride and Tiger don't risk to fight and one of them back off or flee based on the situation. This is addressed by wildlife institute of India, NTCA, IUCN, World Wildlife fund and Wildlife trust of India and many of wildlife conservation bodies or organizations at the national and international level, nature conservationists, experts, modern biologists and scientists, researchers in documents and books to support reintroduction of lions.

Tiger didn't play literally any I mean any role in lion isolation to Gir (No Tiger can be on a killing spree wrath on lion prides without doing their duties of nature like eating, mating etc.., and can't stand a chance against all of them no matter how big, and same goes to lion as they don't "lunge" and "chase" on tigers on site & speculations tiger is not cheetah, it will be caught and eaten. See tiger is not less in speed and they don't chase like it was their prey or other male "lion", it is completely an alien or a weird similar or even bigger sized thing or "species" in where closer to its species) it is the depleting arid habitats naturally and due to humans as humans settlements occur in arid regions as revenue lands (P.S. human civilization associated with water but not in modern times since technology development to utilize ground water) and killing spree of humans through hunting of both the keystone species of the same environment that is Lion and Cheetah of open environments which made the situation even worse for not only them but also other grassland species in decreasing their population resulting in local or sometime entire population extinctions due to ecological imbalance. Only, Indian Wolf remain as a keystone species for very little Indian grassland and scrublands ecosystems. It is also endangered and has only partial effectiveness in ecological functionality in maintaining herbivore population dynamics.

Lion and tiger don't fight for fun unlike in captivity, where the animals are starved and got no way to escape and avoid the fight but to fight until death. It's totally, different in the wild. Both succeeded to live together for thousands of years until 19th-century shortly after humans exterminated and separated them.

P.S. No "vs" information should be  allowed in this topic. Provide further information regarding the once coexisted areas in Europe and Asian nations, history about it, evidences, times to and fro i.e.., when to when, mechanisms or strategies of avoiding excess inter-species competition and impacts on populations, theory of coexistence etc..,
Opinions are welcomed in this thread... Lol
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