Purity of the species?

NS has a piece on the hybridisation of American wildlife. I find the conservationist obsession with purity disturbing.

Polar-grizzly bears are still bears. Seems to me like ‘species’ is a blurry category. The appearance of new hybrids like this fascinating – all the better if they find themselves better adapted to the environment they find themselves in. If these new hybrids cause a long term reduction in biodiversity I can see a problem, but in general I find the focus on the purity of ‘species’ a little uncomfortable, like when people talk about their ‘pure’ bred dogs. Pure what?


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