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Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015

Most people are aware that inbreeding animals can lead to potential health problems, but caring for our animals’ genetic health goes beyond just avoiding inbreeding. We seek to maintain genetically diverse populations that include different variations of genes. A population is healthiest and most resilient to changing ecosystems if there are numerous alleles (variations of a gene) within the population. In wild populations, natural dispersal behaviors help maintain genetic diversity, but in captivity, and increasingly in shrinking and isolated wild populations, dispersal options are few or nonexistent. To maintain diversity in our small captive populations, it is important to rotate individual animals into and out of a population in order to bring in new genes and avoid inbreeding. 52 66 BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q1 Q2 • 2015 2014


Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015
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