Environment Nature

Climate change makes animal populations more susceptible to other impacts


Regulations aren’t keeping up with rapidly changing reality. We’re still in denial that we can do things the same as always without destroying it.

These stories are frustrating to read because we’ve been here before, and we should know better. But no one wants to give up or reduce their own share, whether it’s fisheries or water rights. But the ecosystems don’t lie, don’t care that people are counting on them for profit; eventually, either they’ll collapse and be gone for good, or we’ll figure out how to harvest sustainably 🤷‍♀️


Mutational meltdown

Watched The Island of the Last Surviving Mammoths from

The Wrangel Island mammoths would end up being the final survivors of a once widespread genus. In their final years, after having thrived in many parts of the world for millions of years, the very last mammoths that ever lived experienced what’s known as a mutational meltdown.

An isolated mammoth population survived an extra 6000 years past mainland mammoths… but accumulated so many negative mutations (deletions, mutations) they eventually died out too.

Minimum viable population is about 500 individuals, with 1000 to prevent negative genetic drift — only about 300 mammoths lived on Wrangel Island.

Understanding how species went extinct can help us better protect small isolated populations (e.g. cheetahs, otters) from mutational meltdown.