Thoughts on favourable conservation status

I’m not an expert in this area, but in contrast to our politicians I’m interested in our scientists knowledge.

Hypothetically, would it be possible to apply the same thoughts about favourable conservation status on e.g. Arctic fox, Bear, or Red fox as now is done with the Wolf here in Sweden?
That is, some 270 individuals should be sufficient to ensure a viable and healthy population. If not, what is it then that makes the Wolf so unique compared to other species?

I thought that the laws for genetics, natural mortality, possibility to cope with diseases etc. would be rather general when estimating favourable conservation status among different species.

Wolf  near Smedjebacken Sweden 2012
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bear (from hide) at Vargas in Hälsingland Sweden 2013
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Arctic fox, Dovre Norway 2014
arctic_fox-bw_20140924

 

 

About Per

Working with Business Intelligence at Capgemini. All other time is devoted to photography with main focus on nature- wildlife and cultural activities.
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4 Responses to Thoughts on favourable conservation status

  1. nokotahorse says:

    Beautiful photography and a good question Per! I am also not an expert, but to determine the minimum number of individuals for a sustainable population we must look at the total genetic variation within the population. All individuals contribute to the gene pool, so removing individuals because they are close related makes it worse, not better. The smaller the total genetic variation is, the more individuals are needed. If a population is kept at a constant low number like 270 without external infusion, we must rely on genetic mutation, which is slow process if the population is so small. I doubt anyone can confidently estimate what exact number of individuals is needed for a favourable conservation status for any species.

  2. Per says:

    Thank you! I agree with you. The number 270 is only politics, not science based. I’m not looking for an exact number. Even if the genetical status should be good I think that we need at a minimum 500 in a relatively isolated population for a favorable conservation status.

  3. treothe says:

    Between 500 & 600 is the minimum population in a breeding community to avoid inbreading erosion of diversity

  4. Per says:

    Thank you treothe! Just my thoughts also.

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