Creating farms for sable breeding was associated with the commercial destruction of natural populations and, consequently, the overall decline in the species number. The gene pool of the first farm-bred sable population in Russia, established in the vicinity of Moscow (“Pushkinskiy” fur farm), was formed by crossing of animals removed from nine natural populations. In the first eight years of farm operation, approximately one thousand animals were used for sable breeding; some of these animals were able to adapt to the farm management and, subsequently, to the selection for a number of quantitative traits in the period of industrial domestication. It took about ten years for breeders to work out the breeding and selection technologies, which became successfully employed in the established affiliated sable breeding farms. The main achievement in sable breeding over the 85-year historical period of breeding in Russia is the creation of two unique breeds, black sable (1969) and Saltykovskaya 1 (2007). In general, industrial domestication in fur farming and the subsequent breeding works made the fur of many species (mink, fox, Arctic fox) obtained from natural populations uncompetitive, which undoubtedly reduced the hunting interest in the animals living in the wild. Consequently, hunting for fur-bearing animals of most species decreased and has only local importance. Owing to the specific features of sable biology, the fur of farm-bred animals cannot yet completely replace the furs obtained by hunting; however, the farm-bred sable population is constantly growing. This review presents the results of the analysis of the level of genetic variability in natural and farm populations at nuclear and mitochondrial loci. The comparative analysis makes it possible to estimate the loss of genetic diversity upon the species adaptation to the new conditions of existence.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2016
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