Endangered Species: Minimum Population Grows Larger

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Oct 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5233, pp. 31-32
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5233.31


Two new population genetics studies provide sobering news for efforts to protect endangered species. The minimum number of individuals needed to provide a genetically robust population capable of long-term survival may be as high as 10,000. Previous estimates had put the figure at 500, and many endangered species are down to just a few dozen individuals.