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Potential_Rain676 t1_je7487g wrote

After reading a lot of news here on this sub, this is a nice breath of fresh air.


j1ggy t1_je7w8vy wrote

Sadly it isn't the same species of cheetah, but it's as close as we'll likely get to the real thing. There are only 12 Asiatic cheetahs left in the world, all in Iran. That's down from a population of 83 between 2011 and 2013. Out of the 12 remaining, 9 are males and 3 are females.


thethpunjabi OP t1_je7xo76 wrote

Honestly, it’s sad but the Asiatic cheetah looks doomed at this point. I think they would’ve been better off if Iran relocated a breeding population to India back in the early 2010’s when there was more left.


godisanelectricolive t1_je83ebl wrote

The Asiatic cheetah is a subspecies of cheetah. There are four subspecies in total, three African subspecies plus the Asiatic cheetah. It's the Southeast African cheetah that's been introduced to India.


autotldr t1_je65op1 wrote

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 76%. (I'm a bot)

> India has welcomed the birth of four cheetah cubs - more than 70 years after the animals were declared officially extinct there.

> "I congratulate the entire team of Project Cheetah for their relentless efforts in bringing back cheetahs to India and for their efforts in correcting an ecological wrong done in the past," he said.

> Cheetahs - the world's fastest land animal - became officially extinct in India in 1952, after years of dwindling numbers because of hunting, a loss of habitat and not having enough prey to eat.

Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: cheetah^#1 India^#2 new^#3 cubs^#4 year^#5


Due-Net-88 t1_je76cyz wrote

I didn’t read the article yet but if the Indian cheetah is not a separate species then what they were was “extirpated”, not extinct.


Asoka3 t1_je7q7xa wrote

I learnt a new word, nice. Just did a quick search and they do appear to be different speciecs.

"Compared to African cheetahs, the Asiatic cheetah is smaller but has a thicker coat, a more powerful neck, and slender legs. Many believe that they could be faster than the African species with longer legs, but no tests have confirmed this theory.",tests%20have%20confirmed%20this%20theory.


thethpunjabi OP t1_je7ynun wrote

They’re all the same species, Acinonyx jubatus. Just different subspecies (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus and Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) and genetic studies show a separation of only 32,000 and 67,000 years between the Asiatic subspecies and African subspecies.

Citation: Charruau, P.; Fernandes, C.; Orozco-Terwengel, P.; Peters, J.; Hunter, L.; Ziaie, H.; Jourabchian, A.; Jowkar, H.; Schaller, G. & Ostrowski, S. (2011). "Phylogeography, genetic structure and population divergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidence for long-term geographic isolates". Molecular Ecology. 20 (4): 706–724. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04986.x. PMC 3531615. PMID 21214655.


Malthesse t1_je8y7q6 wrote

To add, the whole concept of subspecies is of course quite vague and iffy to begin with and constantly changes.

For example, until quite recently there were said to be as many as six different living subspecies of tiger – but now the Bengal, Siberian, South China, Indochinese and Malayan tigers have all been lumped into a single subspecies as the Mainland tiger, with only the Sumatran tiger still being recognised as a separate subspecies, now under the name Sunda tiger along with the extinct Bali and Javan tigers.

In a similar way, the African and Asian lions were previously regarded as different subspecies as well, but now they are instead divided into a northern subspecies which covers Asia and northern and western Africa, and a southern subspecies that covers eastern and southern Africa.

So it is very possible that the subspecies of the cheetah will be reclassified as well in the near future, especially since alls cheetah populations seem to very closely related from having gone through quite recent population bottlenecks.


Sh4rkinfestedcustard t1_je9mn24 wrote

I wouldn’t put much stock in there being two tiger subspecies. There have been recent developments using whole genome sequencing that would suggest that the original six stand. Lions are a little less hotly debated, whole genome data appears to concur with previous findings.

It’s a real pain that we don’t have standardised criteria across the field for what constitutes a subspecies.


Sh4rkinfestedcustard t1_je7z4qw wrote

Different subspecies, rather than species. Unfortunately, there’s still enough distinction that this whole reintroduction may well be less than ideal for the cheetahs and the ecosystem. Time will tell.


Want_To_Live_To_100 t1_je94aoo wrote

I guess I don’t understand the word extinct…. Neat


comradejenkens t1_je960to wrote

They were locally extinct. Cheetahs used to live in India, but went locally extinct on the continent.

Individuals from Africa have now been brought in to try to re-establish the species.


Want_To_Live_To_100 t1_je9bjn1 wrote

Thanks I got it now. I didn’t know the word could be used in the context of regions. I assumed it was always universal based purely on my exposure to the word which to be honest was very limited to DINOSAURS and DODO birds. I’m an wiser now and won’t assume extinct always means pertaining to the Earth in general but can be local.


mom0nga t1_je9s70d wrote

Technically, a more accurate word to use for localized extinctions is "extirpated."