III. Selected Articles from the Annual Report of the
American Breeders' Association, 1908*
OBJECTS OF BREEDING WILD MAMMALS
EXPERIMENTS in breeding wild mammals need not necessarily be for their domestication. They may be bred in inclosures giving sufficient range and a habitat as nearly natural as circumstances will permit and the problem of ultimate domestication left for future determination. The chief objects to be sought by experiments in breeding wild animals are: (1) preserving species; (2) use in agriculture or transportation; (3) use for hides and fur; and (4) use as food.
Perpetuating Species.—Extinction of species is a process of nature, and from an economic point of view is not necessarily a misfortune to the world. But when the rapacity of man is turned against a useful species until it is threatened with exter mination, there is good reason for the intervention of organizations of men for its preservation. The imminence of extinction for the American bison, the African elephant, the eland, the walrus, the sea otter, and other species is not imaginary. Within recent times a consider able number of birds have been lost to the world. Of mammals, the quagga and the blaaubok (Hippotragus leucophaeus), the latter a small relative of the roan antelope, have been exterminated from the South African fauna. Foresight might have pre-served them; and foresight accompanied by governmental intervention will be needed to prevent the loss of many of the large game mammals of the world. The preservation of the best of them is a sufficient reason for advocating the expenditure of money in experiments in breeding them.
Agriculture and Trans portation.—Our second object in breeding wild animals seems to be less important. The horse will never be surpassed in general usefulness and the other animals used in agriculture and transportation are excellent in their places. Two animals, how-
"The Committee on Breeding Wild Mammals of the American Breeders' Associa. tion is composed of the following members:
Dr. E. Lantz, Washington, D.C., Chairman.
M. M. Boyd, Bobcaygeon, Ont. W. M. Irwin, Washington, D.C.
R. H. Harris, Clarksville, Tex. C. J. Jones, Topeka, Kan.
Emory, E. Hoge, Baltimore, Md. C. D. Richardson, Worcester, Mass.
Object: To investigate and !report on the methods and technique of improving wild mammals; and to devise and suggest methods and plans of introducing producing and improving such wild animals as may be useful for the production of food, skins, etc., or as aids to agriculture.