WHEN DO SCIENTISTS USE CONSERVATION GENETICS?
1) Habitat Destruction
When habitat destruction or other factors put a population at risk, scientists and conservation managers target that population for investigation. For example, a population of plants may be studied if it is known that a shopping mall will destroy its habitat. Duck and geese populations might be monitored because of new hunting regulations.
Obvious human interference is not the only danger to plants and other animal species. Populations can dwindle for natural or unknown reasons.
2) Change in Population Size
When the total population of a species becomes small, surveillance of that species becomes critical. A small population is much more susceptible to stochastic events (i.e., random or unpredictable events). Such events might be natural catastrophes, environmental changes or mutations. These sorts of events can cause sudden decreases in population size. When the population of a species is small to begin with, futher reduction of their remaining numbers can sharply reduce genetic diversity.