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Biodiversity versus emergencies: the impact of restocking on animal genetic resources after disaster

Heffernan, C. (2009) Biodiversity versus emergencies: the impact of restocking on animal genetic resources after disaster. Disasters, 33 (2). pp. 239-252. ISSN 0361-3666

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2008.01072.x

Abstract/Summary

Restocking is a favoured option in supporting livelihoods after a disaster. With the depletion of local livestock populations, the introduction of new species and breeds will clearly affect biodiversity. Nevertheless, the impact of restocking on Animal Genetic Resources has been largely ignored. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to examine the consequences of restocking on biodiversity via a simple model. Utilising a hypothetical project based on cattle, the model demonstrates that more than one-third of the population was related to the original restocked animals after three generations. Under conditions of random breed selection, the figure declined to 20 per cent. The tool was then applied to a donor-led restocking project implemented in Bosnia-Herzegovina. By restocking primarily with Simmental cattle, the model demonstrated that the implementation of a single restocking project is likely to have accelerated the decline of the indigenous Busa breed by a further nine per cent. Thus, greater awareness of the long-term implications of restocking on biodiversity is required.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8639
Uncontrolled Keywords:animal genetic resources, biodiversity, Bosnia-Herzegovina, cattle, disaster, emergencies, restocking

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