IUCN / SSC Cat Specialist Group - Digital Cat Library


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Allendorf, F.W.; Leary, R.F.; Spruell, P.; Wenburg, J.K.
The problems with hybrids: setting conservation guidelines
2001  Ecology & Evolution (16): 613-622

Rates of hybridization and introgression are increasing dramatically worldwide because of translocations of organisms and habitat modifications by humans. Hybridization has contributed to the extinction of many species through direct and indirect means. However, recent studies have found that natural hybridization has played an important role in the evolution of many plant and animal taxa. Determining whether hybridization is natural or anthropogenic is crucial for conservation, but is often difficult to achieve. Controversy has surrounded the setting of appropriate conservation policies to deal with hybridization and introgression. Any policy that deals with hybrids must be flexible and must recognize that nearly every situation involving hybridization is different enough that general rules are not likely to be effective.We provide a categorization of hybridization to help guide management decisions.

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