Iberian lynx not doomed by its genetics

The low genetic diversity of the Iberian lynx – the most endangered carnivore in Europe – may not decrease the species’ chance of survival, according to new research.

Research looking at DNA from Iberian lynx fossils shows that they have had very little genetic variation over the last 50,000 years, suggesting that a small long-term population size is the “norm” in the species and has not hampered their survival. The new study is published in the journal Molecular Ecology.

Conservationists previously thought having low genetic diversity would doom a species to extinction, through inbreeding and reduced ability to adapt to changing environments.

Read more at University College London