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Wild Animals/Infertility and wild animals


Do you know if there are any studies, or theories, about infertility among wild animals? I try to find an answer to the question about whether or not wild animals can be infertile (of other reasons than human interference, such as pollution or domestication).

Dear Alex,

This topic is so broad that you'd have to do some searching on GoogleScholar ( with a LOT of different keywords to find studies like this.  I'm not famliar with any off the top of my head.  I did a quick search just now and found one about the effects of inbreeding on wild populations:

But most studies on infertility are done in a controlled, lab situation (that's where the funding is, since researchers are usually doing the research with helping human infertility in mind.  As if we need more humans.).

I'd suggest you do some searches by finding some initial studies, checking their literature cited sections, and then using additional keywords to narrow the search to specific species or known causes of infertility.  I'm sure the studies are out there, but it will take a good deal of work to find them. Off to the library!  :)

Hope this helps.


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

House Rabbit Society

Exotic DVM journal

I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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