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In an ideal population, all males and all females would have an equal chance of mating.
However, in situations in which one outnumbers the other, an individual's chance to mate is now affected by its sex, even if all individuals within each sex have an equal chance to mate.
If we set p to 0.5, then one or the other allele should drift to fixation, on average, in 2.77 N equal to 5,000.
However, if p is 0.25 (or 0.75), E(T) drops to 11,246 generations, and if p is 0.1 (or 0.9), E(T) drops considerably to only 6,502 generations.
This time is maximized when p equals 0.5, and it falls off dramatically as one allele or the other becomes more rare at the generation we consider to be our starting point.
Another way to think about drift is to consider the rate at which variation is lost.
Drift is more pronounced in such populations, because smaller populations have less variation and, therefore, a lower ability to respond favorably — that is, adapt — to changing conditions.
Thus, it's not just the number of cheetahs that worries us—it's also the decreased variation in those cheetahs.
Note that the level of genetic variation within a population is dynamic: It reflects an ever-changing balance between processes, both random and nonrandom, which remove variation.
Sometimes, the latter can overwhelm the former, leading to low levels of variation that cannot be reconstituted over ecological time scales.
Thus, the rate of genetic drift is not really proportional to census population size (N (the size of an ideal population that experiences genetic drift at the rate of the population in question).