Reversing the increasing rate of global biodiversity losses may not be possible without embracing intensive, and sometimes controversial, forms of threatened species management, according to a New Zealand zoologist and colleagues writing in the leading international journal Science.
In a review article appearing in today’s edition, Professor Philip Seddon of the University of Otago and his co-authors examine the growing role that ‘conservation translocation’, which is the movement and release of plants and animals to re-establish new populations, is playing in efforts to combat biodiversity loss.
The researchers write that the traditional goals of “having self-sustaining wildlife populations within pristine landscapes untouched by human influence” are “increasingly unobtainable”.
They instead suggest that creating ‘wildness’ rather than restoring ‘wilderness’ is the most practical way forward. This ‘rewilding’ approach may involve translocations to restore ecological processes, such as predator-prey interactions, within landscapes shared by humans and wildlife.