A Plan For Reintroducing Megafauna To North America

It may be possible to restore extinct megafauna like giant horses, North American cheetah, cave bears, etc. by means of genetic engineering.

Just this weekend at a meeting I wondered if it were possible to restore the orginal cattle (today’s cow is a completely human-derived animal).

I’m not endorsing this, but it ought to provoke discussion.

Article in Science Daily.

October 3. More on this at Carnivore Conservation. “What is wrong with USA? Not enough giant cheetahs!”

3 Responses to “A Plan For Reintroducing Megafauna To North America”

  1. Jean Ossorio Says:

    It’s my impression that my friend Dave Foreman and his collaborators are thinking more about introducing living relatives of extinct North American cheetahs, mastodons, lions, etc., than about “genetic engineering” to bring back extinct fauna, a la Jurassic Park. I don’t presume to speak for them, however.

    In an article in Nature (Vol. 436, 18 August 2005) they state, “Among the objections to Pleistocene re-wilding is that the proposed proxies are not genetically identical to the animals that formerly existed in North America.” They go on to point out, however, that reintroduction of peregrine falcons that were not identical to extirpated birds in midwestern North America was successful.

    Those who are interested in learning more about this issue may want to check out the page on Pleistocene Rewilding on the web site of the Rewilding Institute, at http://rewilding.org/pleistocene_rewilding.html

  2. Jean Ossorio Says:

    It’s my impression that my friend Dave Foreman and his colleagues are proposing introducing living relatives of extinct North American megafauna, rather than genetically engineered creatures a la Jurassic Park.

    For additional information on the subject, and a link to their August 18, 2005 article in Nature, check the Rewilding Institute web site at http://rewilding.org/pleistocene_rewilding.html

    Thanks for bringing the idea to a wider audience, Ralph.

  3. Jean Ossorio Says:

    It’s my impression that these folks are proposing to introduce living relatives of extinct North American megafauna, rather than some genetically engineered organisms a la Jurassic Park.

    For addition information and a link to an article on the subject from Nature (Vol. 436, No. 18, August 2005) check the website of the Rewilding Institute.

    http://rewilding.org/pleistocene_rewilding.html


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