Urgent call for further breeding of the relic zoo population of the critically endangered Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo Linnaeus 1758)

@article{Burger2005UrgentCF,
  title={Urgent call for further breeding of the relic zoo population of the critically endangered Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo Linnaeus 1758)},
  author={Joachim Burger and Helmut Hemmer},
  journal={European Journal of Wildlife Research},
  year={2005},
  volume={52},
  pages={54-58}
}
The Barbary lion became extinct in the wild around 1942. Since the end of the 19th century, a last purebred captive breeding stock existed at the court of Morocco. The rest of these animals became the core exhibition of the new Rabat Zoo after passing through repeated bottlenecks and possibly some introgression events by foreign lions. This study uses mitochondrial DNA sequencing data to clarify the relationship among these lions and their sub-Saharan and Asian relatives. We analysed… 
Maintaining the genetic health of putative Barbary lions in captivity: an analysis of Moroccan Royal Lions
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A comparison with six wild lion populations identifies the Addis Ababa lions as being not only phenotypically but also genetically distinct from other lions, and a comparison of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence of these lions to sequences of wild lions of different origins supports the notion of their genetic uniqueness.
Past and present distribution of the North African–Asian lion subgroup: a review
1 The North African–Asian lion subgroup, which is composed of two subspecies, the Barbary lion, Panthera leo leo, and the Asian lion, P. l. persica, was nearly exterminated during the last
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    International journal of evolutionary biology
  • 2016
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A review of the evolutionary relevance of North African lions highlights the important challenges and opportunities in understanding relationships between Moroccan lions, extinct North Africa lions, and extant lion populations in India and West and Central Africa and the potential role for lions in ecosystem recovery in those regions.
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Deep, well-supported splits within the mitochondrial phylogeny of African lions are identified, arguing for recognition of some regional populations as worthy of independent conservation.
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Continuous monitoring of the genetic diversity of the ‘Moroccan Royal lion’ group is required, especially for long-term conservation management purposes, as it would be an important captive group should further DNA studies establish an affinity to P. leo leo.
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Given lack of recent records for wild ferrets in Morocco, a survey in the historical range of the species is urgently needed.
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The results of multivariate analysis of craniometric data indicate that lion skulls vary considerably throughout their geographical range and that the variation is greater within populations than between them, a significant subdivision being found only between sub-Sahara Africa and North Africa/Asia.
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It is demonstrated that the island populations of the clouded leopard deviate strongly from the mainland populations in a large number of cranial, mandibular, and dental characters, which far exceed those that have been documented for subspecies within other pantherine felids.
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