White Hall Auditorium
Pleistocene Rewilding: Lions in a Den of Daniels? Lecture by Dr. Harry S. Greene
Most of North America's large vertebrate species were driven to extinction by humans in the late Pleistocene (some 13,000 years ago), an event that caused the loss of many ecological interactions, such as dispersal of particular fruits eaten by these large vertebrates. Some conservation biologists propose to reestablish some of the lost ecological processes by rewilding, that is, by reintroducing large, charismatic African and Asian vertebrates (e.g., lions, elephants, cheetahs, camels) to the American continent, to replace species that disappeared during the Pleistocene extinctions. Proponents of rewilding argue that the creation of "Pleistocene Parks" is justified on ecological, economic, aesthetic, and ethical grounds. On the other hand, critics of the approach have called these proposed parks "Frankenstein Ecosystems." As one of the proponents of rewilding, Dr. Harry W. Greene (Cornell University, New York) will discuss the merits of rewilding, including some of its potential economic and political impacts in North America, and address the major criticisms of this intriguing conservation strategy.
Please join us for what will be a provocative seminar, presented by the School of Life Sciences.