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Novitates Theriologicae

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2021 Vol. 12 Contents of volume >>>



download pdfKharchuk, S. 2021. A review of the history of taxonomy and species criteria in the family Felidae. Novitates Theriologicae, 12: 300314.



A review of the history of taxonomy and species criteria in the family Felidae


Sergiy Kharchuk (Ukrainian Theriological Society, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv)


The taxonomic changes in the species composition of Felidae from the beginning of classification by Carl Linnaeus to the present are considered. As is true for the whole class of mammals, the species composition of this family has undergone significant expansion. This happened due to the study of the most remote corners of our planet, and through a rethinking of the species concept. The process of rethinking is still ongoing and a further change in views on the species composition of cats is quite expected. Researchers pay special attention to the genera Leopardus and Felis, within which the validity of species statuses has been confirmed or revoked recently or in the past. An overview of the main criteria for distinguishing species and features of the application of these criteria are given. The problem of species discrimination is as important as the problem of species existence. Anthropogenic pressure leads to a decrease and deterioration of the quality of habitats. Almost all felids lead a solitary lifestyle and have low population density, sometimes occupying fragmented areas. In particular, this facilitates hybridization between some species, which also contributes to the "blurring" of both the species characteristics and the boundaries between separate species.


Ukrainian, with English summary



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