‘Intentional Genetic Manipulation’ as a conservation threat
Digitization StatusBorn digital
AbstractWildlife ranching including the hunting, collection, sales and husbandry of wild animals in captivity, is practised worldwide and is advocated as an approach towards the conservation of wild species. While many authors have explored the biological impacts of intensive wild population management, primarily with respect to disease transmission (especially in ungulates and fish), the evolutionary and demographic effects of wildlife ranching have been examined less intensively. We discuss this issue through the case of intensive wildlife management in southern Africa. The genetic consequences of this global practice, with an emphasis on Africa, were addressed by a motion passed at the 2016 IUCN World Congress- ‘Management and regulation of intensive breeding and genetic manipulation of large mammals for commercial purposes’. Here, we highlight concerns regarding intensive breeding programs used to discover, enhance and propagate unusual physical traits, hereafter referred to as ‘Intentional Genetic Manipulation’. We highlight how ‘Intentional Genetic Manipulation’ potentially threatens the viability of native species and ecosystems, via genetic erosion, inbreeding, hybridisation and unregulated translocation. Finally, we discuss the need for better policies in southern Africa and globally, regarding ‘Intentional Genetic Manipulation’, and the identification of key knowledge gaps.
Volume, Page Number11, 237-247