GENETIC RESCUE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     20th March 2024        
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Context: Genetic rescue is proposed as a method to conserve Ranthambore National Park’s tiger population.

Genetic Rescue

  • Definition: Genetic rescue involves augmenting population growth by introducing new genetic variation through migration, also known as gene flow.
  • Implementation in Conservation: Wildlife managers transfer individuals from a larger, healthier population to a smaller one, aiming to introduce diversity and improve overall population health.
  • Conservation Goals: The primary objectives include reducing genetic load, lowering extinction risk, and enhancing the long-term viability of endangered species and populations.
  • Mitigating Inbreeding Depression: Genetic rescue addresses the detrimental effects of inbreeding depression, which diminish reproductive success and offspring viability due to mating among close relatives.
  • Assessing Effects: The outcomes of genetic rescue vary, influenced by factors such as the extent and duration of gene flow, alongside genetic and environmental dynamics within populations.
  • Balancing Risks and Benefits: While offering potential benefits, genetic rescue carries risks associated with translocating animals, often considered a last-resort strategy in conservation efforts.

Ranthambore National Park

  • About: Established in 1955 as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary, later declared a Project Tiger reserve in 1973.
  • Tigers: Notable individuals include T-24, T39, and T83, with tiger population fluctuating due to conservation challenges.
  • Flora: Encompasses over 300 tree species, featuring dense tropical dry forests and significant medicinal flora.
  • Fauna: Home to over 270 bird species, including crested serpent eagle and Indian paradise flycatcher.
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