Genetic diversity keeps animal populations healthy. When animals are isolated and can’t reach other populations, they often interbreed, and it leads to weaker genes being passed on and so offspring have a lower chance of survival.
Dispersal is something that some animals do, and it consists of an animal leaving their family group to establish their own territory and group in another location. Wolves do this. Often, certain members of the family will disperse and leave their pack in order to find a new territory and form their own pack.
This is an essential part of maintaining a healthy gene pool for wolves. As that dispersed wolf goes off and finds a mate in a different area, stronger, more diverse genes are passed onto the offspring, increasing the number of healthy wolves throughout the population. This is because the genes passed on stem from different, diverse packs, and aren’t just the same genes from the same pack being passed on over and over again.
This is an important thing that wolves do that allows them to keep their offspring healthy and establish more territories throughout the country.
Interested in reading more about this? Check out our blog on lone wolves!