Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rewilding of America

Cornell University graduate student Josh Donlan and advisor Harry Greene have proposed that large areas of the North American grasslands be relinquished to African and Asian predatory animals.
The authors say that that the release of elephants, cheetahs, camels etc could revitilize the rural economies of the midwest with eco-tourists.
Their objective is to return the areas to the ecosystems of 13,000 years ago - before humans came in and killed all of the native animals and reorganized the whole ecosystem.

The parks would also preserve the exotic animals from extinction in their lands.

I can't help but suspect that this is some kind of a plan to let the land revert back to the native state so that there is some legal way to open casinos. "Exotic Animal Park and Casino"

To test the concept of "rewilding" they plan to do a pilot study by releasing tortoises in New Mexico. Uh, do you think wild turtles will be an accurate test of the idea of letting elephants and tigers run wild?

Donlan expects that there will be some resistance from citizens to letting wild animals loose in their neighborhoods. He says, "There are going to have to be some major attitude shifts. That includes realizing predation is a natural role, and that people are going to have to take precautions."

I think we already may realize that "predation is a natural role." That's why all the dangerous animals are gone! Humans - top of the food chain? - you know, the bad guys on the block? I think our predation of dangerous species is quite natural - it's how we take precautions.

CU researchers propose rewilding


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