Pleistocene Rewilding: An Optimistic Agenda for Twenty‐First Century Conservation

  title={Pleistocene Rewilding: An Optimistic Agenda for Twenty‐First Century Conservation},
  author={C. Josh Donlan and Joel Berger and Carl E. Bock and Jane H. Bock and David A. Burney and James A. Estes and Dave Foreman and Paul S. Martin and Gary W. Roemer and Felisa A. Smith and Michael E. Soul{\'e} and Harry W. Greene},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={660 - 681}
Large vertebrates are strong interactors in food webs, yet they were lost from most ecosystems after the dispersal of modern humans from Africa and Eurasia. We call for restoration of missing ecological functions and evolutionary potential of lost North American megafauna using extant conspecifics and related taxa. We refer to this restoration as Pleistocene rewilding; it is conceived as carefully managed ecosystem manipulations whereby costs and benefits are objectively addressed on a case‐by… 

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Pleistocene re‐wilding is unsound conservation practice

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  • 2011
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We are currently experiencing the sixth major extinction event in the world's history (Thomas et al. 2004). This event is more pervasive than the previous five and is overwhelmingly human-driven.

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  • S. Zimov
  • Environmental Science
  • 2005
The hypothesis that humans, rather than climate change, caused the ecosystem shift at the beginning of the Holocene is tested, and the stabilization of the northern tundra soils that this reconstitution could bring also could prevent the release of vast amount of carbon now sequestered in the Siberian soils but in danger of being released in the warmer times projected for the future.

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Gomphothere Fruits: A Critique

  • H. Howe
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    The American Naturalist
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The hypothesis that giant Pleistocene mammals shaped reproductive traits of many tropical plants could help explain anomalous fruits which appear adapted for animal consumption, but which lack


Because most large, terrestrial mammalian predators have already been lost from more than 95-99% of the contiguous United States and Mexico, many ecological communities are either missing dominant