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Pleistocene Rewilding

United Kingdom Sully Offline
Ecology and Conservation
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#1

Pleistocene rewilding is the advocacy of the reintroduction of descendants of Pleistocene megafauna, or their close ecological equivalents. An extension of the conservation practice of rewilding, which involves reintroducing species to areas where they became extinct in recent history (hundreds of years ago or less).

So what are our thoughts on this idea? Is it a good way for ecological restoration, or has it been too long since certain creatures traversed certain areas for their proxies to simply be put back in? Interested in hearing everyone's opinions on this. 

Here's a paper on it:

Pleistocene Rewilding: An Optimistic Agenda for Twenty-First Century Conservation



Abstract: Large vertebrates are strong interactors in food webs, yet they were lost from most ecosystems after the dispersal of modern humans from Africa and Eurasia. We call for restoration of missing ecological functions and evolutionary potential of lost North American megafauna using extant conspecifics and related taxa. We refer to this restoration as Pleistocene rewilding; it is conceived as carefully managed ecosystem manipulations whereby costs and benefits are objectively addressed on a case-by-case and locality-by-localitybasis. Pleistocene rewilding would deliberately promote large, long-lived species over pest and weed assemblages, facilitate the persistenceand ecological effectiveness of megafauna on a global scale, and broaden the underlying premise of conservation from managing extinction to encompass restoring ecological and evolutionary processes. Pleistocene rewilding can begin immediately with species such as Bolson tortoises and feral horses and continue through the coming decades with elephants and Holarctic lions. Our exemplar taxa would contribute biological, economic, and cultural benefits to North America. Owners of large tracts of private land in the central and western United States could be the first to implement this restoration. Risks of Pleistocene rewilding include the possibility of altered disease ecology and associated human health implications, as well as unexpected ecological and sociopolitical consequences of reintroductions. Establishment of programs to monitor suites of species interactions and their consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem health will be a significant challenge. Secure fencing would be a major economic cost, and social challenges will include acceptance of predation as anoverriding natural process and the incorporation of pre-Columbian ecological frameworks into conservation strategies.


https://biology.unm.edu/fasmith/Web_Page...%20Nat.pdf
"When the tiger stalks the jungle like the lowering clouds of a thunderstorm, the leopard moves as silently as mist drifting on a dawn wind." -Indian proverb
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