Skip to comments.Call to restock North America’s large mammals (Lions, Tigers,Bears Alert)
Posted on 08/17/2005 10:56:34 AM PDT by 11th_VA
Elephants, lions, cheetahs and camels could one day roam the western US under a proposal to recreate North American landscapes as they existed more than 13,000 years ago, when humans first encountered them.
The plan, proposed in a commentary in Nature and co-authored by 13 ecologists and conservation biologists, would help enrich a North American ecosystem that was left almost devoid of large mammals at the end of the Pleistocene period. It would also help preserve wildlife that faces the threat of extinction in Africa and Asia.
Between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, 97 of 150 genera of large mammals disappeared from around the world. Although a warming climate played its part, the consensus is that over-hunting by humans probably had a significant role.
In North America, by about 13,000 years ago, humans were leaving evidence of big-game hunting using sophisticated stone tools. This hunting probably helped to drive many animals to extinction, including North American mammoths and mastodons, lions, cheetahs, camelops (a relative of the modern camel), horses and asses.
Although those animals are gone forever, related African and Asian species could serve as proxies, the authors say. They propose introducing the animals over 50 years, starting with horses, asses and camels, working up to elephants, and finally bringing in the big cats.
Eventually, the animals could roam in preserves hundreds of thousands of hectares in size. The best place to create this Pleistocene Park would be in the North American Great Plains, where the human population is relatively low and the grazing animals would have a ready supply of food.
But other conservationists think it is a bad idea. Chris Haney, a conservation biologist at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC, US, says that substituting modern equivalents of extinct species will not be the same as restoring the ancient ecosystem. And he thinks it would detract from more pressing and realistic goals, such as restoring wolves, grizzlies, elk and other animals to their historic North American ranges. Even those reintroductions have faced bitter opposition from ranchers, farmers, and residents.
"I need to work on wolves, not mastodons," agrees Douglas Inkley, senior science adviser to the National Wildlife Federation in Reston, Virginia, US.
Journal reference: Nature (vol 436, p 913)
Hippos in the Rio Grande.
There are already plenty of asses in the western states.
They are insane...
It is time to animate the Saber-toothed Tiger DNA.
Aren't there already elephants in Oklahoma where "the corn is as high as an elephant's eye?"
Re: Restocking with Large Mammals.
That's a very stupid idea. Who thinks up this crap anyway? PETA?
Overhunting my a$$! So why didn't the thoroughly depredating humans work they way down the order of animals, by size, and eliminate the bison, the elk, the deer...all the way down through the chipmunks to the common slug?
Those animals died for a reason. The climate no longer supported them. North America saw a huge climate change as the ice sheets retreated.
This doesn't have anything to do with man. But sure enough they blame man for it.
This can't be! I always thought that the native peoples of North America were great stewards of their domain one with nature.
Can I get my dibs on my own mastadon?
I think if mother nature wanted african elephants in North America, she would have put them there. Why don't we just bring back dinosaurs.
You'd think that people who beleive so strongly in evolution wouldn't complain so much when it takes its course.
We have already started doing this with the raising of Micheal Moore. He is the largest mammal we have so far and already a liberal. Isn't that enough?
Good idea. Hunters will no longer have to travel to Africa to bag that trophy lion or rhino.
btw - 100% spot on
Time to send the environmentalists somewhere else, perhaps they could 'restock' Europe and leave us alone?
This idea has been around for several years. One variation is to turn all of middle America from North Dakota through SW Texas into a "Buffalo Commons" with all sorts of animules introduced therein.
I just hope the inmates don't take control of the asylum. This is absolutely nuts. They want to live in the Pleistocene era? They should invest in time travel scams.