News Round-Up

Don’t focus on genetic diversity to save endangered species

Source: adelaide.edu.au

Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk.

Published in the journal PNAS , the scientists demonstrate that there is no simple relationship between genetic diversity and species survival. But, Dr João Teixeira and Dr Christian Huber from the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences conclude, the focus shouldn’t be on genetic diversity anyway, it should be on habitat protection.

“Nature is being destroyed by humans at a rate never seen before,” says computational biologist Dr Huber. “We burn forests, over-fish our seas and destroy wild areas and it’s estimated that about one million species are threatened with extinction, some within decades. MORE