The seriousness of the current ‘biodiversity crisis’ and the increasingly loss of species diversity have aroused the boldness in conservationists to propose not so conservative solutions. Such as an attempt to restore in our present environment the wildlife diversity lost in the Pleistocene period. This proposal is incited by Donlan et al. (2006) that “call for restoration of missing ecological functions and evolutionary potential of lost North American megafauna using extant conspecifics and related taxa”. This essay will discuss the possible positive effects brought by the Pleistocene rewilding and its major impediments. And it is perceptible that the obstacles in translocating species ...view middle of the document...
In order to restore the fauna lost in the Pleistocene, it would involve introducing to present habitats extant species that are descended from species that occurred in the same habitats during the Pleistocene but went extinct about 13,000 years ago or introducing modern ecological proxies for the extinct Pleistocene species (Rubenstein et al. 2006).
According to Donlan et al. (2006) the 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. In this way, the Pleistocene rewilding proposes a novel plan using ecological history as a guide to actively restore ecological and evolutionary processes instead of merely managing extinction.
The Pleistocene rewilding prospects explicit benefits and a daring strategy for Conservation Biology when facing the challenges of assuring the survival of many endangered species. This proposal is justified on the basis that the only continents where megafauna remain relatively intact are Africa and parts of Asia and the loss of some of these species within this century seems likely (Donlan et al. 2006). The disruptions occurred in population dynamics and the insufficient potential of wildlife to adaptively respond to climate change and other human-induced impacts suggest that without significant conservation interventions, the speciation of large vertebrates on a global basis is largely over.
In this matter, the major advantage of Pleistocene rewilding would be to enhance the persistence of endangered large vertebrates with a multicontinent system of reserves based on evolutionary and ecological data. Thus, the persistence and ecological effectiveness of megafauna on a global scale would be enhanced, broadening the underlying premise of conservation from managing extinction to encompass restoring ecological and evolutionary processes.
Although in smaller scales, many successful cases of reintroduction that depicture the objectives of Pleistocene rewilding have been already reported. An example is the North American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Falcons from four continents served as a collective proxy for the midwestern peregrine population that became extinct in the 1960s. And it resulted in successful breeding despite substantial morphological and ecological variation among the extant population.
To cite an advantageous example that could derive from the many reintroductions envisioned by Pleistocene rewilders, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), that was almost extinct in North America since the late Pleistocene and recently reintroduced to the southwestern United States can illustrate a...