Home / Weather / Svalbard polar endure paper falsely assumes that lack of genetic range has destructive penalties – Watts Up With That?

Svalbard polar endure paper falsely assumes that lack of genetic range has destructive penalties – Watts Up With That?

From Dr. Susan Crockford’s Polar Endure Science

Posted on September eight, 2021 |

A brand new paper revealed these days offers with an animal conservation factor I’ve addressed two times prior to: the theoretical assumption that lack of genetic range will have to be unfavourable to species survival regardless of there being little proof that this has been the case in genuine lifestyles. For this new learn about, the authors performed some sophisticated measuring of genetic range loss and inbreeding among and between Svalbard area polar endure populations between 1995 and 2016 (see map underneath), after which modelled what this may result in in 100 generations (1210 years), with the over-anxious hand-wringing we’ve all come to be expecting from such prophesies. So far as I will be able to see, it’s all meaningless number-crunching with out relevance to the actual international of polar bears.

To reinforce their declare of damage from lack of genetic range, the authors of this paper (Maduna et al. 2021) cite 4 theoretical papers that think as undeniable fact that lack of genetic range is damaging however no longer the proof to again up the declare. They it sounds as if by no means to take a look at species that experience if truth be told suffered dramatic lack of genetic range. Northern elephant seals, as an example, lowered to 20-30 animals greater than 100 years in the past, have rebounded to a inhabitants of about 170,000 with extraordinarily low genetic range however no obvious well being or survival repercussions. Identical genetic bottlenecks and recoveries were documented in Guadalupe fur seals, San Nicolas Island foxes, mouflon sheep, and North Atlantic proper whales (amongst others), which I mentioned intimately right here (with references). I mentioned the problem once more with reference to a an identical polar endure ‘genetic range’ paper in 2016.

Conspicuous through its absence on this new e-newsletter is a quotation of the hot paper that exposed the frame situation of feminine Svalbard polar bears had larger considerably between 2004 and 2017 regardless of a pronounced decline in summer season and wintry weather sea ice extent (Lippold et al. 2019: 988). Nor did the paper cite information amassed through the Norwegian Polar Institute that display the frame situation of grownup men in Svalbard has no longer modified since 1993 or that inhabitants numbers have no longer declined. As a substitute, the authors point out best that lowered numbers of pregnant women have reached conventional denning spaces because of loss of ice and that bears have spent much less time feeding at glacier fronts than they used to do (Maduna et al. 2021: 2), as though the one polar endure information to be had relating to sea ice decline was once destructive.

Determine 1 from Maduna et al. 2021

Inhabitants bottlenecks all over the Final Glacial Most when appropriate habitat was once scarce and every other within the overdue 1800s/early 1900s because of wanton overhunting left polar bears with remarkably low genetic range however no obvious ill-effects to their total heath. Oddly, this contemporary paintings through Maduna and co-workers assumes with out proof that slightly much less genetic range may well be devastating to Svalbard bears greater than 1000 years from now. Whilst the media expectedly advertise this as horrifying new proof of what local weather exchange has wrought (right here and right here), It’s not that i am inspired.

That is conservation biology finished WWF-style: lack of genetic range sounds dangerous to those who don’t know higher, however real-world proof displays it isn’t.


Lippold, A., Bourgeon, S., Aars, J., Andersen, M., Polder, A., Lyche, J.L., Bytingsvik, J., Jenssen, B.M., Derocher, A.E., Welker, J.M. and Routti, H. 2019. Temporal developments of power natural pollution in Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus) relating to adjustments in feeding conduct and frame situation. Environmental Science and Technology 53(2):984-995. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.8b05416

Maduna, S. N., Aars, J., Fløystad, I., Klütsch, C. F. C., Zeyl Fiskebeck, E. M. L., Wiig, Ø. et al. 2021. Sea ice relief drives genetic differentiation amongst Barents Sea polar bears. Complaints of the Royals Society B  288 (1958): 20211741. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1741 OPEN ACCESS

About admin

Check Also

Antarctic Ice Mass — Alternate Sources – Watts Up With That?

Antarctic Ice Mass — Trade Assets – Watts Up With That?

Transient Be aware by way of Kip Hansen — 6 October 2021 I’m engaged in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *