What impact does inbreeding have on wild animals, especially tigers?
Inbreeding is a condition when genetically similar individuals in a population breed with each other and over time individuals of the population become even more similar to each other. The population suffers from a loss of genetic diversity. This can lead to adverse conditions that result from inbreeding (inbreeding depression) such as muscle degeneration (observed in humans), low sperm count and quality, inability to fight some infections (lowered immunity) etc. However, it need not always be the case that if related individuals breed, their offspring will always be at risk. The probability is that the risk will increase with inbreeding. In a small population, the chance of mating with related individuals increases and this leads to inbreeding effects. It’s like having one box with a hundred marbles of different colours, say 10 red, 10 blue, 50 green and 30 yellow. Another box has only 10 red, 30 green and 10 yellow. Now if you close your eyes and pick two marbles from box one and 2 f