Rewilding

Re-wilding Agenda

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What is "re-wilding"?

According to biologist Michael Soulè, "re-wilding" or "conservation biology" is an approach to wildlife management that primarily seeks to restore large native predators into the wild for the purported goal of restoring nature to its "normal" state. While this sounds like a laudable effort, since nature is something we all enjoy and want to protect, it is in reality a fantasy that creates real problems for society. Proponents of "re-wilding" seek to reintroduce predators such as wolves, cougars, mountain lions, and grizzly bears to eventually repopulate areas their ancestors dominated as their habitats. This approach has been scientifically shown to cause new problems rather than solve the issues at hand concerning the interation with man and wildlife. There is no reputable scientific study supporting it. 

Many biologists are concerned that the reintroduction of apex predators to areas previously inhabited by now extinct megafauna holds no scientific grounds. As re-wilding has not been properly tested, adverse effects such as the importation of diseases, hybridization, and an increase in livestock losses, may only be the beginning of the snowball effect that harms nature, including man, rather than encourages it.

While advocates of re-wilding are looking to the past to "restore" Earth's ecosysytems, they never ask: what will happen to the future of humankind?

The rewilding model rejects the traditional and centuries-old Norht American Model of Wildlife Management that intimiately incorporates consumptive-users (such as hunters) into the process of managing natural resources and wildlife.

"These radical groups hope to substitute natural resource harvesting activities (such as hunting) by humans as the long-standing preferred method of wildlife management, and to instead adopt a new approach incorporating a theoretical but unrealistic natural predator-prey environmental balance.  In their fantasy this balance would be “naturally” self-regulating, would bring the eco-system into harmony, and would make hunting unnecessary.

"These radical groups hope to substitute natural resource harvesting activities (such as hunting) by humans as the long-standing preferred method of wildlife management, and to instead adopt a new approach incorporating a theoretical but unrealistic natural predator-prey environmental balance.  In their fantasy this balance would be “naturally” self-regulating, would bring the eco-system into harmony, and would make hunting unnecessary," said David Halbrook, Executive Director for Hunt For Truth Associationin his article "Born to Re-wild".

It also fails to take into account the impact on civilization. "[Rewilding] isn’t appropriate to the UK landscape because simply scaled spaces like this [nature reserve] play a really hugely important function for society. For example if we let this area here go completely back to tree cover for example the bog would dry up. So where would we be then? We would not be able to store water; we would not be able to clean water… Soil will begin to erode; the carbon would be released into the atmosphere so actually it’s hugely detrimental," says the head of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, Estelle Bailey. 

"It’s the radical environmentalists’ utopian 'Circle of Life.' But without humans in the circle," said Halbrook.

“Re-wilding” is not about protecting predator species that are endangered, such as wolves and grizzly bears. It seeks to go beyond that goal and to protect prevalent nuisance predators, like coyotes, even if it means there will be detrimental impact on locations man now inhabits. To read about the impact of urban coyotes, which would be protected under a “re-wilding” system, click here.

Read "Born To Re-Wild" – by David Halbrook

Peer Review Studies:

Rewilding can cause rather than solve ecological problems – Tim Caro, Paul Sherman [2009]
The Pleistocene re-wilding gambit – Tim Caro [2007]
Pleistocene Park: Does re-wilding North America represent sound conservation for the 21st century?- Dustin R. Rubenstein, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Paul W. Sherman, Thomas A. Gavin [2006]

Articles: 

Rewilding Rebuttal
Forget about ‘rewilding’: we should be focusing on the species that we do still have
Re-wilding: don't overlook humans living on the plains

 

 

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