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There is some evidence that suggests that the banteng is not a monophyletic species (see Hassanin & Ropiquet 2006); however, phylogenetic studies of this species are few and continue to be confounded by hybridization, small sample sizes (Nijman et al. 2003) and the inability to obtain tissue samples from all subspecies. Grzimek (1987) did not accept the separation of banteng into three subspecies as valid. He argued that interbreeding of small populations of wild banteng with domestic or feral cattle still occurred continuously. This suggestion was supported by Corbert & Hill (1992), who also did not recognize the existence of banteng subspecies. Timmins et al. (2008) proposed that Bos javanicus lowi should be included into Bos javanicus javanicus, yet no molecular studies have investigated the phylogeny of B. j. lowi due to the difficulty of obtaining tissue samples from wild individuals. Timmins et al. (2008) also proposed Bos javanicus javanicus and Bos javanicus birmanicus should be tentatively accepted as different subspecies. It is essential to clarify the genetic description of all subspecies through morphometric and molecular analysis prior to a merger of subspecies. For instance, four haplotypes from six faecal samples of banteng in Thai forests similar to Cambodia’s banteng have been reported (Manatchaiworakul et al. 2011). However, these first analyses require further investigations to better understand the relationships between different banteng populations.
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