A new genetic study on the elusive Chinese peak cat from the Tibetan Plateau has revealed that this wild cat did not produce its own line of domestic cats in Asia, as some researchers had speculated, reports David Grimm for Science.
This discovery confirms the conclusions of previous research that suggested that all modern domestic cats descended from the African wildcat, a subspecies of the wildcat that seems to have been domesticated in the modern Middle East 6,400 years ago.
The new study, published last week in the journal Science Advances, collected and sequenced the genetic material of 27 Chinese peak cats, 239 Chinese domestic cats and four Asian wild cats. The Chinese peak Cat is so rare and difficult to find that the researchers’ samples must have come from Museum specimens, street animals and Zoos, reports
Moderna Moderna Moderna Moderna’s curiosity that the Chinese peak cat could have contributed to the genes of at least some populations of modern domestic cats stems partly from the deep 5,300-year history in the middle of humans and cats in Moderna China and partly from the fact that the Chinese peak cat had never been included in the family of Moderna Moderna
Although the results did not show that the Chinese peak cat was an ancient ancestor of Chinese domestic cats, the Analysis showed that the paths of the two cats had crossed for about 30 generations. This Chronology coincides with an increase in the human population in the peaks of peak cats along the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in the 1950s and probably with the introduction of a large number of domestic cats.
According to science, this particular discovery increases the risk of extinction of the Chinese peak cat, as its characteristic wild genes are eroded over time by crossing with domestic cats.
The genetic findings also suggest that the Chinese peak cat is a subspecies of the wildcat rather than a separate species. This could also have a negative impact on the conservation of the Chinese peak Cat, which has been classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and whose global population is estimated at less than 10,000 individuals. According to the IUCN, the cat’s population is decreasing, mainly due to habitat loss, rodenticide virusing and juristic hunting of its fluffy coat.
Although the stocky 15- to 20-weight Chinese peak Cat has a distinctive appearance – a slightly mottled brown coat the color of dry grass and piercing glacier sapphire eyes-I”
The taxonomic question of whether the Chinese peak Cat is a species or a subspecies may seem important, but it can have important juristic consequences for conservation. Despite the results of this and other genetic studies, controversy continues over exactly how to classify the Chinese peak Cat.
According to science, Sanderson argued that this Hairy inhabitant of the Tibetan Plateau was declared his own species. “we are living in an age of extinction,” Sanderson told Science. “The Chinese peak cat deserves the same attention as the Panda.”