We Studied The DNA Of African & Asian Leopards & Found Big Differences Between The Two

JoosR

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Leopards are among the most widespread carnivores today, living in a wide range of habitats, from deserts to rainforests, and from the lowland plains to the mountainous highlands.

Over the past century, they’ve experienced extreme habitat losses due to human activity, both directly from hunting and indirectly from habitat reduction and prey competition. This has led to the land they occupy being reduced by over 50% in Africa, and over 80% in Asia, involving the local extinction of many populations.

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Red Leg

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Very interesting. If the difference is as large or larger than brown bear to polar bear, then that could go far in explaining the behavior differences. The African leopard is rarely a man-eater. His Asian cousin, particularly on the Indian sub-continent, has been a notorious one.
 

tigris115

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Very interesting. If the difference is as large or larger than brown bear to polar bear, then that could go far in explaining the behavior differences. The African leopard is rarely a man-eater. His Asian cousin, particularly on the Indian sub-continent, has been a notorious one.
Well tbf, most of the major cases of leopards in Asia eating people happen in India, one of the most densely populated places on Earth. That and animal-related deaths in Africa don't get documented properly iirc
 

Red Leg

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Well tbf, most of the major cases of leopards in Asia eating people happen in India, one of the most densely populated places on Earth. That and animal-related deaths in Africa don't get documented properly iirc
I am hardly the first to note the culinary preference difference. I would also suggest where much of the predation occurred in Northern India - not the teaming coastal regions and central plateau - population densities and incident reporting capability were not so very different than British East Africa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. British East India dealt with marauding lions and British India dealt with Tigers and Leopards. I am sure you are familiar with Patterson's famous chronical of hunting the Rudraprayag Leopard. There is no similar narrative in African hunting literature.
 

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I am hardly the first to note the culinary preference difference. I would also suggest where much of the predation occurred in Northern India - not the teaming coastal regions and central plateau - population densities and incident reporting capability were not so very different than British East Africa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. British East India dealt with marauding lions and British India dealt with Tigers and Leopards. I am sure you are familiar with Patterson's famous chronical of hunting the Rudraprayag Leopard. There is no similar narrative in African hunting literature.
I think it was Jim Corbett who hunted the Rudraprayag Leopard. Colonel Patterson wrangled, successfully, with the Maneaters of Tsavo.
 

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I think it was Jim Corbett who hunted the Rudraprayag Leopard. Colonel Patterson wrangled, successfully, with the Maneaters of Tsavo.
Absolutely Corbett. At my age probably lucky I didn't type Theodore Roosevelt. I'll have another drink while I clean my .275. :rolleyes:
 

tigris115

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I am hardly the first to note the culinary preference difference. I would also suggest where much of the predation occurred in Northern India - not the teaming coastal regions and central plateau - population densities and incident reporting capability were not so very different than British East Africa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. British East India dealt with marauding lions and British India dealt with Tigers and Leopards. I am sure you are familiar with Patterson's famous chronical of hunting the Rudraprayag Leopard. There is no similar narrative in African hunting literature.
Maybe it was just crappy reporting?
 

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Excellent read. They could have well be different animals but related.
 

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Maybe it was just crappy reporting?
That is the point I am trying to make. Northern India during the Raj was very similar to British East Africa. The reporting of incidents would have been similar. I just truly think the Asian Leopard offers a different predation model, and this article offers the first clue that I have seen that the Northern Indian animal actually was wired very differently.
 

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Another thing I'd like to point out is that the Rudraprayag leopard only really became a man eater after a plague left its home strewn with corpses which educated the cat about human flesh
 

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