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

  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},
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
The status of the descendent population within zoos in Morocco and Europe is outlined, including all known pure-bred descendents from the Royal Palace collection, and founder representation is shown to be greater across European collections than the Moroccan collection.
A genetically distinct lion (Panthera leo) population from Ethiopia
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
The Challenges and Relevance of Exploring the Genetics of North Africa's “Barbary Lion” and the Conservation of Putative Descendants in Captivity
  • S. Black
  • Environmental Science
    International journal of evolutionary biology
  • 2016
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.
Revealing the maternal demographic history of Panthera leo using ancient DNA and a spatially explicit genealogical analysis
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.
Genetic diversity, viability and conservation value of the global captive population of the Moroccan Royal lions
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.
Taxonomic impediment to conservation: the case of the Moroccan 'ferret' Mustela putorius ssp.
Given lack of recent records for wild ferrets in Morocco, a survey in the historical range of the species is urgently needed.
Geographical variation and phylogenetics of modern lions based on craniometric data
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.
Species distinction and evolutionary differences in the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and Diard's clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)
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.


Molecular phylogeny of the extinct cave lion Panthera leo spelaea.
A molecular view of pinniped relationships with particular emphasis on the true seals
The present data suggest that Cystophora and Phoca separated 6 million years ago, and among the southern phocids the close molecular relationship of the Weddell and leopard seals relative to their morphological distinction exemplifies rapid adaptation to different ecological niches.
Sorting out tigers (Panthera tigris): mitochondrial sequences, nuclear inserts, systematics, and conservation genetics
Evidence that Sumatrans are a distinct taxonomic entity relative to mainland populations can be used in educational programs to increase conservation efforts within Indonesia and emphasize the importance of doing more to conserve Sumatran tigers.
Molecular evolution of mitochondrial 12S RNA and cytochrome b sequences in the pantherine lineage of Felidae.
DNA sequence comparisons of two mitochondrial DNA genes were used to infer phylogenetic relationships among 17 Felidae species, notably 15 in the previously described pantherine lineage, and suggested the recognition of a recently evolved monophyletic genus Panthera.
Grundlagen und derzeitiger Stand des Zuchtprogrammes zur Rückerhaltung des Berberlöwen (Panthera leo leo)
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1978b) The evolutionary systematics of living Felidae: present status and current problems
  • Carnivore
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The North African Barbary lion and the Atlas lion project
  • IZN
  • 2002