Posted by: stiltsville | September 25, 2010

Panther “genetic restoration”

Florida panther

Image via Wikipedia

A paper published in the “Science” on Friday focuses on the long-term efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partner agencies to improve the health of the Florida panther population. Through a process called genetic restoration, scientists have helped increase the population of 20 to 30 animals in the early 1990s to the current population of at least 100.

Genetic restoration involves adding new genetic material into a small, isolated population that has suffered the ill effects of inbreeding. Before genetic restoration, many panthers were diagnosed with heart problems, fertility issues, and low levels of genetic variation. To address these problems, scientists introduced eight female pumas from Texas to breed within the dwindling Florida panther population in 1995.

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