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Old 05-27-2018, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
4,502 posts, read 2,763,483 times
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Another update on the Pleistocene park bison are being transported to the park.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/b...the-world--2#/

"The last bison in Siberia was killed 10,000 years ago. Next month we are flying 12 baby bison from Alaska to Pleistocene Park. These bison will once again roam the arctic steppe and take a critical first step towards preventing catastrophic runaway climate change triggered by thawing permafrost. Chartering an aircraft to fly them from Alaska to Russia is the single most expensive mission we have ever undertaken to bring animals to the park and we need your help to make that happen."
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:50 PM
 
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I'm all for rewilding by creating wild corridors and preserves to allow natural wild processes to take place at their own pace. But I'm opposed to a lot of what amounts to pure meddling that masquerades as rewilding. There is no better example than the Yellowstone wolf reintruction.



I'm 100% pro wolf, as disclaimer in advance. But rather than shoving a bunch in there and falsely proclaiming "see, its wild now", the efforts and money should have gone toward ensuring that Canadian wolves repopulated on their own. And they were doing so, slowly. Wolves repopulated the much less remote much more accessible and populated terrain of the upper Midwest entirely on their own. Granted, they had the relatively large MN population close by, and thats why it would have taken longer in the Rockies. But it would have happened and was happening.



Same thing for Isle Royale, where they will soon reintroduce wolves because they are the cash cow draw to the Park. It wont make the park any more wild, it will make the park less wild, more of a managed labratory experiment. Isle Royale's wolves are a huge part of what sparked my interest in wilderness and wolves 40 years ago, so I find this especially disappointing.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
4,502 posts, read 2,763,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I'm all for rewilding by creating wild corridors and preserves to allow natural wild processes to take place at their own pace. But I'm opposed to a lot of what amounts to pure meddling that masquerades as rewilding. There is no better example than the Yellowstone wolf reintruction.



I'm 100% pro wolf, as disclaimer in advance. But rather than shoving a bunch in there and falsely proclaiming "see, its wild now", the efforts and money should have gone toward ensuring that Canadian wolves repopulated on their own. And they were doing so, slowly. Wolves repopulated the much less remote much more accessible and populated terrain of the upper Midwest entirely on their own. Granted, they had the relatively large MN population close by, and thats why it would have taken longer in the Rockies. But it would have happened and was happening.



Same thing for Isle Royale, where they will soon reintroduce wolves because they are the cash cow draw to the Park. It wont make the park any more wild, it will make the park less wild, more of a managed labratory experiment. Isle Royale's wolves are a huge part of what sparked my interest in wilderness and wolves 40 years ago, so I find this especially disappointing.
So what exactly is the difference if they come on their own, or if they moved their by people? If they are eventually going to get there does it really make a huge difference in the long run? The only issue I would have is if they introduced the wrong sub species, but other wise I don't really see what the issue is?
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:39 PM
 
2,311 posts, read 1,187,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grega94 View Post
So what exactly is the difference if they come on their own, or if they moved their by people? If they are eventually going to get there does it really make a huge difference in the long run? The only issue I would have is if they introduced the wrong sub species, but other wise I don't really see what the issue is?

It matters if you want "wild" rather than just "the original number and type of species" because you can have the latter in a zoo. Rewilding is much broader than just restoring a species to an isolated place, its about restoring natural ecological functions and connectivity between natural places. If wolves had returned to Yellowstone on their own, and if we had made sure that was possible by protecting them and their movement corridors, we would not only have wolves back we would know we had healthy, functioning movement corridors. Not to mention the massive backlash of anti-environmentalism it caused.



In the case of Isle Royale, wolves probably wont be returning there any time soon on their own because natural processes have probably been disrupted by climate change. The lake rarely freezes over anymore, giving wolves a frozen platform to get there. Wolves are dying out there in part because of inbreeding, a natural process. So reintroducing wolves to supplement the gene pool is about as far from "wild" as you can get. Two wrongs dont make a right. Wolves were only on the island for a few decades, the island will survive without wolves. Except it won't get that chance.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:22 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
4,212 posts, read 1,647,132 times
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Sometimes MotherNature needs a helping hand. Species re0intrduction may not be perfect, but it's the best we have.



The problem with letting existing populations spread "naturally," is that it requires continuity of habitat. While foresight saved isolated populations of the American Bison, fragmentation of habitat doesn't allow their natural yearly migration, for instance. (Wouldn't that be a disruptive hoot to watch?)



Many eco-conscious people are impatient. They want things done now, but Nature lives on a geologic timescale. Nature exists in a dynamic equilibrium: any change in one direction requires opposing changes in the other direction to maintain balance. When a species is re-introduced to its former range, it will find things have changed since it was last there-- highways, buildings, people, different species co-habitating & different population numbers. It takes time to adjust.



Loss of habitat is the biggest problem facing Nature, but more specifically- fragmentation of habitat. A mountain lion needs 20 sq mi of range to survive and your county may have 50 sq mi of untouched land- but if it's one sq mi surrounded by 10 miles of parking lot in each of 50 separate townships, that won't work for the lion.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Sometimes MotherNature needs a helping hand. Species re0intrduction may not be perfect, but it's the best we have.

And I'm entirely in favor of reintroductions, where necessary to restore a species. The Mexican wolf, for example. The California condor, for example. The whooping crane, for example. When there are options for natural recolonization, reintroduction is a distant 2nd best.



Quote:
The problem with letting existing populations spread "naturally," is that it requires continuity of habitat. While foresight saved isolated populations of the American Bison, fragmentation of habitat doesn't allow their natural yearly migration, for instance. (Wouldn't that be a disruptive hoot to watch?)




Precisely. So what we have is not a wild, restored population of bison, we have a tightly managed, fenced, controlled population. Not rewilded. Rewilding is not reintroduction, its restoring those movement corridors so natural processes (in this case migration) can take place.



Quote:
Many eco-conscious people are impatient. They want things done now, but Nature lives on a geologic timescale.


I agree. That's why there is such popular support for reintroductions. It gives the general population quick feel-good returns, emotional feedback, and whether its the best idea biologically or for long-term conservation gets lost along the way.



Quote:



Nature exists in a dynamic equilibrium: any change in one direction requires opposing changes in the other direction to maintain balance. When a species is re-introduced to its former range, it will find things have changed since it was last there-- highways, buildings, people, different species co-habitating & different population numbers. It takes time to adjust.



Loss of habitat is the biggest problem facing Nature, but more specifically- fragmentation of habitat.

I agree again. And that's the reason we need to more carefully scrutinize these quick fix solutions, and reserve reintroduction for when they are truly necessary, not just convenient.
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