|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
I think somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century, the Northern Elephant Seal was assumed to be close to extinction. A report of eight seals galvanized the Smithsonian Institution into action. They sent a crack team... to kill the remaining seals so they could be added to the museum's collections while there were a few available.
Fortunately, that apparently was not the very last of the population. I know people who do studies on NESs, and the genetics of a very recent and drastic population bottleneck are an ever-present part of any population work done.
Edited by Wesley R. Elsberry on Feb. 12 2008,14:20
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker