So the cheetah has roused some heavy discussion again. And why? Just
because people assume that bottlenecks and resulting low genetic
variation makes populations vulnerable and leads to extinction. This
may be right but where, and I mean natural populations, is the
evidence for such a assumption?
Anyway, Menotti-Raymond and O'Brien (PNAS 90,3172-3176, 1993) assumed
that variation at ALL minisatellite loci (=fingerprints) was lost due
to bottleneck(s). This would imply almost complete homozygosity.
By the way, some beavers in sweden are doing very well, despite of
very low levels of genetic variation (Ellegren et al. PNAS 90, 8150-
L. van de Zande