What We’re Reading: July 1, 2016

Inbreeding Shortens Female Life-Span
A new paper (open) investigated how life span differs between male and female fruit flies if they belonged to an inbred or normal population.  In the normal (aka- outbred) population, females lived longer than males; but in the inbred population, males and females lived the same length of time.  Given that females should have lived longer, the results suggest that inbreeding shortens lifespan more in females than in males.  This could have conservation implications for inbred wildlife populations, as the shorter female life span the fewer pregancies meaning less births contribute to population growth.  To be fair, we don’t know how the extent of inbred fly lines compares to the extent of inbred wildlife populations, but still another argument for how inbreeding may be detrimental to populations.

Wildlife Without Borders
We know that wildlife pay zero attention to human political borders and that collaboration between different local, regional, or international wildlife agencies can work to best protect wildlife populations that span borders.  But while wildlife focused governmental groups know they need to work together, they are ignoring agencies tasked with national security some of which may use physical barriers, such as fences.  This paper (open) highlights how border fences may affect threatened species, particularly medium and large bodied vertebrates, by restricting their movement.  This highlights how security agencies may be another stakeholder worth engaging when thinking about wildlife protection.

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