Rewilding north america

One key issue is: How would dangerous animals be contained to minimize the threat to humans and livestock?

rewilding north america summary

It would restore the natural order. However, there is a strong chance that humans had something to do with it as well. For example, the pronghorn Antilocapra americana evolved over four million years in North American grasslands that changed abruptly in the Late Pleistocene; the now-extinct American cheetah Acinonyx trumania key predator, almost certainly shaped the pronghorn's astonishing speed 3.

rewilding north america article

Pleistocene rewilding could "serve as additional refugia to help preserve that evolutionary potential" of megafauna. The Chacoan peccarywhich is morphologically very similar to the flat-headed peccary, might be able to replace it in areas of the Great Plains and the South.

When wolves were chased out of Yellowstone National Park, in the United States, for instance, unchecked deer outcompeted bison and beavers for food.

rewilding north america map

Will you settle for an American wilderness emptier than it was just centuries ago? In some cases this involves expanding the territory of dangerous animals.

Rewilding north america

Even plant life would be impacted by the inevitable flux in the herbivore population. First, Earth is nowhere pristine; our economics, politics, demographics and technology pervade every ecosystem. Pleistocene America boasted a wide variety of dangerous carnivores most of which are extinct today , such as the short-faced bear , saber-toothed cats e. Asian elephants would do well in the environments previously occupied by the Columbian mammoth. Large carnivores and herbivores often play important roles in the maintenance of biodiversity, and thus many extinct mammals must have shaped the evolution of the species we know today 2. Source Rewilding North America The Pleistocene rewilding concept is as intriguing as it is controversial. The renewed presence of all these animals is part of a plan to restore the place to its prelapsarian glory—and thus lure eco-tourists to a poor corner of the country. Moreover, humans have emotional relationships with large vertebrates that reflect our own Pleistocene heritage. The effects would reverberate down to the lowest levels of the food chain. Symbols represent horses Equus caballus and E. Restoring North America's largest surviving temperate terrestrial reptile to its prehistoric range could bring ecological, evolutionary, economic and cultural benefits, with no apparent costs Fig. Restructuring the population of large megafauna not only impacts those animals and those they closely interact with. For example, 77, large mammals most of them Asian and African ungulates, but also cheetahs, camels and kangaroos roam free on Texas ranches 7 , although their significance for conservation remains largely unevaluated.

If wolves make people nervous, how would be the public react to the introduction of a pride of African lions, or to a population of Siberian tigers? These species would live in the arid regions and grasslands of North America.

Fencing, which can be effective in reducing human—elephant conflict in Africa, would be the main economic cost.

Introducing elephants to north america

Introducing megafauna into North America would require reserves, large protected areas and connectivity between these reserves for keystone species. As a result, farmers and ranchers exterminated the gray wolf throughout most of its range, leading to population decline. Fencing, which can be effective in reducing human—elephant conflict in Africa, would be the main economic cost. Foreman describes recent discoveries in conservation biology that call for wildlands networks instead of isolated protected areas, and, reviewing the history of protected areas, shows how wildlands networks are a logical next step for the conservation movement. Captive-bred birds from seven subspecies on four continents were used, yet there were no differences among the birds in subsequent breeding success 6 , and the subspecies now serve as a collective proxy for the extinct midwestern peregrine falcon. Large carnivores and herbivores often play important roles in the maintenance of biodiversity, and thus many extinct mammals must have shaped the evolution of the species we know today 2. It is easy to make an argument in favor of rescuing them, and even moving them back into their home ranges. Review Quotes "Foreman somehow manages to be comprehensive, historically informed, accurate, and succinct.
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