Should We Be Reintroducing Species?

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Published on February 10th, 2009  |  Discuss This Article  


It’s a much-debated question: Should we be reintroducing species to their former habitats?

After all, most modern-day species extinctions came about because of human interference, from poaching to habitat destruction. And once those species are gone from their native habitats, the ecosystems change in response.

But should we restore the balance? Bring back, say, elephants to South America and tapirs to Florida? Or, says Conservancy scientist Michael Jennings, is that approach too much like toying with a miniature train set?

Jennings points out that many introduced species have caused huge biological disasters, from cane toads in Australia to mongoose in the Caribbean. In both cases, the introduced species is destroying native animals.

But in the end, says Jennings, conservationists have a very practical reason for NOT reintroducing species:

“Populating the Americas or Europe with wild elephants, wildebeests, cheetahs and lions would take a level of effort that would dwarf John Hammond’s grandest Jurassic Park fantasy. In the meantime, we have to ask ourselves, what other critically important conservation priorities would we not do instead?”

Read the full story here.

(Image: Wildebeests in Kenya. Source: Demosh, via Creative Commons.)

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Comments: Should We Be Reintroducing Species?

  •  Comment from Diego Barrantes

    Believing that we can hypothetic reintroduce species in the habitat could not be successfully forward in the ecology; however trying to maintenance healthy number of endangered species in the ecosystems will bring them into a natural balance.
    Important to continues with the idea of keep and protect the natural areas, wildlife parks and areas surround.

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