Vertebrates are an endlessly fascinating group of animals dominating the planet earth. They are important not only because we are familiar with them, but also because we, humans, are also vertebrates.

Among vertebrates, mammals are unique group of animals. They have mammary glands and are found in diverse environmental conditions and are able to use wide range of resources on the earth, ranging from north to south poles and from mountain peaks to depth of oceans.

This group comprises 1135 genera, 136 families and 26 orders. The diverse group of fascinating mammals not only adds beauty to the face of the earth but also maintains the ecosystem equilibrium.

Change and destruction of ecosystem result in reduction of biodiversity of plants and animals in that area. It is common opinion of different scientists that nowadays world flora and fauna is becoming extinct faster than ever in the history. This loss will have far reaching negative impact on lives of human. So, conservation of biodiversity is a major concern all over the world today.

It is crucial to safeguard remains of our biodiversity resources from the increasingly consumptive lifestyle and escalating urbanisation overtaking countries and their wild areas.

Unplanned human growth and settlements throughout the world are causing enormous pressure on wild resources. Increasing population and more consumption has resulted in loss of natural resources of earth at rate of 5 percent per decade. This loss to biological wealth of earth is catastrophic and it has aesthetic, economic and ecological importance for us.

This shocking damage of species and their abodes has awakened conservationists and other environmental activists all over the world to make efforts for conservation of this wealth around the globe by sharing knowledge and resources.

Population of a lot of mammal species has decreased during last two centuries because of human activities and the uncontrolled use of natural resources. Under the influence of human activities in present times, a lot of animal species have become extinct or they are in the danger of extinction. This extinction of animal species not only has ecological but also economic and social loss for human being.

Along with all these implications, wild life is also source of food and earnings for local people. So, management of wildlife is necessary for maintenance of genetic diversity and species survival. Small population size due to excessive hunting results in loss of genetic diversity that is required for acclimatisation of a population in changing environmental conditions.

Different planning and actions are oriented towards restoration of such species that had plentiful populations in the past. One of the most common actions in this regard is trans-location of individuals from viable populations. This causes loss of genetic diversity. So, present day attention is focused to avoid or reverse the loss of genetic diversity in such populations or to establish populations with high genetically diversity in former areas.

It is consensus among the conservation geneticists that genetic diversity within and among populations is necessary for survival of different population. Main reason of genetic depletion is when there is no genetic flow in populations of small effective size. Recent advancement in molecular biology techniques has helped to get some realistic data regarding structure and dynamics of population genetics.

Some issues regarding practical utilisation of this data are needed to be resolved. Reduced genetic diversity within (sub) populations and increased genetic diversity between different populations are two most important factors affecting the population structures.

New technology in conservation genetics has many implications for the future of conservation biology. At the molecular level, new technologies are advancing.

Some of these techniques include the analysis of different regions in DNA. These molecular techniques have wider effects from clarifying taxonomic relationships, as in the previous example, to determining the best individuals to reintroduce to a population for recovery by determining kinship. These effects then have consequences that reach even further.

Conservation of species has implications for humans in the economic, social, and political realms.

In the biological realm increased genotypic diversity has been shown to help ecosystem recovery, as seen in a community of grasses which was able to resist disturbance to grazing geese through greater genotypic diversity. Because species diversity increases ecosystem function, increasing biodiversity through new conservation genetic techniques has wider reaching effects than before.

The writer is PhD scholar at Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore.