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Posted by Scott Wright on February 05, 2003 at 21:34:46:
In Reply to: Hybridization in General, my view posted by Ike420 on February 05, 2003 at 12:34:02:
Here is your flaw:
"It should be kept in mind are that snakes do escape. With more hybrids being bred, more hybrids could potentially be released into the wild, could breed in the wild (or not depending upon individual fertility), and could VERY EASILY cause the extinction of pure lines."
Now I have to ask: VERY EASILY? If it were VERY EASY it would have happened by now, correct? Where are the lists of snake species that are no longer with us because of escaped horny hybrids?
It would be VERY DIFFICULT for an escaped hybrid, or even an entire collection of hybrid animals, to make any sort of lasting impact in any ecological setting. Most animals would be susceptible to disease, parasites, predators, and environmental conditions that they simply would not be prepared to face. The odds of a given hybrid actually breeding successfully with a given native species are so astronomical that I can't believe people use it as an argument.
But let's say that a jungle corn did breed a cal king in nature. Their babies would be 3/4 king and 1/4 corn. (I know for a fact that these would look and act almost exactly like cal kings because I've got a bunch of them.) Then a couple of years down the road, these breed with a cal king. Now we have babies that are 7/8 king and 1/8 corn. So on and so forth, the original corn genes would be outbred to disappearance. Even if the original 3/4 king and 1/4 corn cross offspring got together and bred, the ratio of corn genes would never be able to rise, and so would also be outbred.
I understand the thought process that leads people to think that a hybrid is more likely to taint a natural gene pool because an animal could be half native to a given area and half non-native. But that is also the fatal flaw in the argument, since the lack of the non-native species would ensure that it would never rise above half. And thus the ratio can only be reduced with each successive breeding, eventually bringing chaos back to order in the forums!