Tigers related to snow leopards

This is a snow leopard video.

From the BBC:

Tigers are less closely related to lions, leopards and jaguars than these other big cats are to each other, according to a new comprehensive study.

The genetic analysis also reveals the tiger began evolving 3.2 million years ago, and its closest living relative is the equally endangered snow leopard.

The discovery comes as the BBC launches a collection of intimate videos of wild tigers and the threats they face.

Despite the popularity and endangered status of tigers, much remains to be discovered about them, including how they evolved.

It has long been known that the five species of big cat, the tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard, which belong to the Panthera genus, and the two species of clouded leopard, are more closely related to each other than to other smaller cats.

India’s Eastern Himalayan rainforest could have one of the world’s largest number of wild cat species, after seven species were recorded in two years: here.

CITES fails to agree new tiger farm rules: here.

Myanmar creates world’s largest tiger reserve, aiding many endangered Southeast Asian species: here.

In a valley high in the Wakhan Mountains of Afghanistan, a hunter several weeks ago waded through snowdrifts to check his traps and found that he had snared one of the rarest creatures alive: a snow leopard: here.

Endangered snow leopard clawing its way back – Innovative conservation project in Pakistan: here.

Baby snow leopard filmed in wild mountains of Bhutan: here.

Snow Leopards Thriving in Afghanistan: here.

KUALA LUMPUR: Researchers have captured the first images of a spotted leopard in Malaysia, putting to rest a decades-old debate over the existence of the endangered cat in the country: here.

May 2010: Two clouded leopard cubs have been radio-collared and returned to the wild in India: here.

7 thoughts on “Tigers related to snow leopards

  1. Could the wild tiger really go extinct in our lifetime?

    If we don’t act soon, it’s a definite and heartbreaking possibility. Years of illegal poaching, habitat loss and conflict with humans have decimated the world’s wild tiger population, reducing their numbers from 100,000 to 3,200 in less than a century.

    But hope is not gone for the wild tiger. Right now, the Senate is considering a creative way to save tigers and other priority species by authorizing a new postage stamp whose purchase would support wildlife conservation projects.

    It’s an amazing opportunity for wild tigers, but we need your help to make sure it passes.

    Please, tell your U.S. senators to help save wild tigers and pass the Stamp Act!

    Your letter couldn’t come at a more important moment.

    Habitat loss and poaching are pushing the world’s last wild tigers to the brink of extinction. Even as the tiger’s natural forest habitat is carved up for roads, farms, logging interests and urban development, poachers regularly kill tigers for their stunning pelts, bones and other body parts, many of which are used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines.

    But with your support, the revenue from this special postage stamp would help:


    Create protected habitats for the world’s last wild tigers and other treasured species;

    Stop illegal poaching; and,

    Expand public education about protecting endangered species.

    Don’t wait. You can play a crucial part in tigers’ fight to survive: Tell your senators to pass the Stamp Act today!

    This one moment of your time could have a huge impact for tiger populations struggling to survive in places like India, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.

    Thank you for doing your part to make sure these magnificent species endure for many generations to come.


    John F. Calvelli
    Executive Vice President
    Wildlife Conservation Society


  2. It’s truly amazing. Despite years of war and habitat destruction, snow leopards, Asiatic black bears and other wildlife are surviving in Afghanistan.

    But the odds are stacked against their continued survival.

    Right now, WCS is the only conservation NGO in Afghanistan working to protect wildlife, thanks in large part to support from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Congress is threatening deep budget cuts which could spell disaster for wildlife, the country’s natural resources and the Afghan people.

    Our lawmakers are debating these cuts this week, so we don’t have a moment to lose. Write to your members of Congress – ask them to defend this funding!

    Uncontrolled hunting, deforestation and habitat degradation threaten the future of wildlife, natural resources and livelihoods in this fragile country.

    With more than 80% of Afghanistan’s people relying on natural resources for their survival, conservation efforts are critical to helping to stabilize the region, especially as we diminish our military presence.

    USAID programs in Afghanistan support incredible conservation efforts including:

    The creation of Afghanistan’s first national park – Band-e-Amir – which is co-managed by the government and a committee consisting of communities living around the park.

    Training over 10,000 Afghans – from high-level ministerial staff to local community members – in sustainable natural resource and wildlife management practices.

    Vaccinating thousands of livestock for diseases that not only affect human livelihoods but may also cross over and kill rare and iconic wildlife such as Marco Polo sheep.

    That’s what foreign aid can accomplish. The stakes are high in Afghanistan – and we can’t let short-sighted budget cuts trump our long-term goal of stabilizing the country.

    Please, write to Congress right now – make sure they know that conservation funding in Afghanistan is a critical issue for their constituents.

    Thanks for all you do.


    John F. Calvelli

    Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
    Wildlife Conservation Society


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