Something extraordinary is happening at the Pleistocene Park in Siberia.
For the first time in ten thousand years – Wild horses, oxen and reindeers are returning to their new abode. The initiative is taken by the Russian scientist Sergei Zima who is creating an ecosystem from the Ice-Age through the process called Re-Wilding.
Zima says that these animals will eventually break the bushes and devour them and thus will fertilize the soil, which will make the grass grow and the trees to dry up. The result will be a creation of new meadowlands with steep vegetation.
Still the goal is far away as the presently the park is supporting only a meager number of 200 animals.
On the flip side of it, David Nogez of University of Copenhagen warns about the consequences of the Re-wilding methodologies. He mentions that to fully grasp the way in which the system works, one will have to consider the effect it will have when introducing the species to a new environment and also to keep in mind the alternatives such as the classic conservation approaches.
For instance, one can take the examples of the recovery of the wolf population in the USA’s Yellowstone National Park, which can very well be considered as a Re-Wilding success story. They were first introduced in the mid 1990s from where they have increased up to fivefold of their numbers.
The wolves are monitored closely in the park, but their spread off in the adjacent areas has created a rivalry with the ranchers.
One of the Ranchers, Richard Kinki, tells us they are helpless against taking any action towards the wolves as they are federally protected. The main problem lies in the fact that the cattle loss has increased with their population.
According to a study at the University of Copenhagen, the report argues that the decision makers should consider more of the wildlife and environmental sciences while implementing their laws of the Re-wilding program.
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