Study indicates 5000 mature individuals are needed for population viability
This determination could have profound implications for the protection of many species. Many biologists use a number of 2000 individuals in a population for maintenance of viable populations over the long term. In the Northern Rockies the USFWS believes that 1600 (and declining) wolves represent a viable population that can persist over the long term. The National Park Service presumes that maintaining only 2300 bison in Yellowstone will maintain the genetic diversity needed for long term viability. According the USFWS even fewer grizzlies are needed for recovery with 500-600 bears in the Yellowstone DPS.
According to the new study:
“populations of endangered species are unlikely to persist in the face of global climate change and habitat loss unless they number around 5000 mature individuals or more”