British environmentalists have announced that the pink dove, endangered in the 1990s, is in danger of extinction again.
And the journal Conservation Biology states that scientists, after examining the genome of this pigeon, concluded that the presence of many harmful mutations accumulated in the pigeon puts it at risk of extinction.
The pink pigeon is a species of bird native only to the island of Mauritius. By the end of the nineties of the last century, with only 10 birds left, it was on the brink of extinction. However, thanks to the Mauritius Wildlife Trust, Parks and Environment Services and the British Wildlife Trust on the island, the number of these pigeons has gradually increased to 400-480.
The results of the new study showed that pink pigeons should be rescued before that. The scientists identified the genomes of 571 wild pigeons that lived at different years and compared them to the DNA of their relatives in zoos. Based on this, they predicted the number of harmful mutations and developed computer models to predict the future of this pigeon in different situations.
Professor Cook van Oosterhout, from the University of East England, said: “When this pigeon population plummeted at the end of the last century, many species lost their genomes and accumulated many harmful mutation. In fact, all the pink pigeons that exist today are close and almost unstoppable. Inbreeding. This will lead to new disastrous changes in the future and the threat of extinction again. ”
Hernan Morales of the University of Copenhagen said: “It will not be enough to increase the population of these pigeons, so such pigeons in zoos around the world will have to be moved to the islands of Mauritius to diversify. alter their genes. Of course, in this case, new malignant mutations may be inadvertently introduced into the population. This bath.
Modeling has shown that if this is not done, harmful mutations will increase further, causing the extinction of the wild pink pigeon within 100 years.
Source: Arabic RT