Repairing the Irreparable: Why it is Difficult to Argue for Conservation of an Extinct Ecosystem
Kayla P. Wopschall

A plan has been proposed to restore the North American ecosystem to a prehistoric state. This “Pleistocene rewilding” has been met with extreme hesitation by conservation biologists, despite sharing underlying goals of large mammal conservation and ecosystem restoration. Conservation biology rhetoric shows that success of efforts hinge on the ability to argue protecting an “irreparable” resource. The PRW proposal uses this same rhetoric, however fails to illicit a similar response while arguing to repair what is already lost. A detailed evaluation of conservation biology rhetoric shows how this proposed agenda will continually fall short without a severe shift in strategy.

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