|MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology|
I was wondering, if it was unavoidable that a particular species was going to be lost (i.e. extinct), or even if it is regarded as highly endangered, would it not be a possibility to interbreed these with a related species of the same kind, therefore, ensuring that the genetic information of that species is not lost. For example, the 5 sub-species of tigers and the 3 species of New Zealand Kiwi - each of which encroaching extinction. These sub-species all have their own breeding programmes, to preserve genetic purity, but every year we are told that the chances of success are worse than ever… Are not these sub-species all branches of the same ancestral parent population - and therefore, able to interbreed? Therefore, would it not make sense to combine these sub-species into one big breeding programme? Sure, you would loose some of the unique expression of the sub-species, resulting in a mixed or more diverse expression of the two, but you would have a greater gene pool to work with, and a greater number of individuals. Maybe even, by combining the sub-species it would rejuvenate the species, but, more off, it could possible ensure the survival of the species (rather than sub- species) as a whole and prevent the wider loss of genetic diversity. Or may be we should go further……, for example, and cross the tiger with lions to ensure genes unique to tigers are not lost and remain present in the wider gene pool…..
Re: Preventing loss of genetic diversity
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