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Conclusions

We can conclude that whenever possible, it is best to ensure that a large number of animals are present in an area where they might otherwise be isolated from others of their kind. It is also important to ensure that the animals present represent a diverse gene pool, which minimizes the impact of a detrimental characteristic by introducing stronger characteristics in organisms that will eventually reproduce. For captive breeding programs it is most important to ensure that the animals are not closely related, which is the easiest way to prevent inbreeding in a controlled environment.

The fact that small populations of animals are more prone to weakening of their species by the prevalence of genetic defects reminds us of the importance of thought in bringing endangered species back to healthy, large populations. Small, isolated populations, especially those isolated by man-made constructions such as highways or cities are by no means exempt from the process of natural selection, which generally favors a large, diverse gene pool. Wild populations of species should be given the largest possible habitats that include a number of the same species.


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