BIO 3115 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 2017
Rewilding is large-scale conservation aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes andcore wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting orreintroducing apex predators and keystone species. A number of rewilding projects have beenproposed and indeed, undertaken, including: the reintroduction of wolves to YellowstoneNational Park in the United States; reintroducing beaver to Wales; and reintroduction of jaguarinto the southern United States and Mexico. In the view of George Monbiot, in rewilding is thesalvation of the natural world (http://www.monbiot.com/2013/05/27/a-manifesto-for-rewildingthe-world/ ).The idea of rewilding has been extended to the (re)creation of extinct ecosystems with theidea of reintroducing species to areas from which they or their evolutionary ancestors havebeen extirpated for millennia. The concept of Pleistocene rewilding, for example, considersthe idea of introducing tigers and elephants, to replace the sabre-tooth cats and mastodons thatonce roamed the Great Plains of North America.Using information from the primary literature (several references have been provided as astarting point below) please answer the following question:Based on your review of the literature on rewilding, what are the major scientific pros and consfor rewilding?Please note that the focus of this assignment are the scientific concerns associated with therewilding agenda. As discussed (ad nauseam?) in class, there are a number of non-scientificissues involved or implicated in rewilding, all ultimately affecting the public acceptability ofrewilding. Although these issues are important indeed, critical in this assignment you shouldfocus on the scientific issues and questions.Your answer should be no more than 500 well-chosen words, excluding references. Thinkcarefully about how best to organize and structure your answer. Aim for high informationdensity: say a lot, but say it succinctly. Recall Nietzches famous remark: It is my ambition tosay in ten sentences what others say in whole books what others dont say in whole books.Include a complete set of references, and cite them appropriately in your text, using the style andformat of a scientific article. For a concise and readable guide to scientific writing, seehttp://www.bms.bc.ca/resources/library/pdf/GuidelinesScientificPapers.pdf .Respect the submission deadlines. Late or missed assignments will receive a grade of zero,unless you have discussed the issue with me beforehand. DO NOT wait until the last minute tosubmit, as network and communication glitches often (apparently) occur.Submit your answer using the textbox provided on Virtual Campus. Do not submit an attachedfile. 1 Make sure you are familiar with, and understand, the universitys policy on academic fraud. Asyou are probably aware, there are various tools available to instructors for checking forplagiarism – forewarned is forearmed. Evaluation rubricThe assignment is graded out of 10. Minimum mark resolution is 0.5 marks. In general, thegrade will depend on how comprehensively the student has enumerated and described(succinctly!) the pros and cons that have been discussed in the scientific literature.Grading element TotalpossiblescoreEvidence that student has consulted primary literature in addition to that 1provided in the question itselfProper use and formatting of citations and references1Rewilding pros. In describing each pro, students should state the pro as well 4as providing an empirical example of a situation (study) where the benefits(pros) have been realized. In other words, the focus here should be primarilyon pros for which there is empirical evidenceRewilding cons. In describing each con, students should state the con as well 4as providing an empirical example of a situation (study) where the costs (cons)have been realized. In other words, the focus here should be primarily on consfor which there is empirical evidenceBibliography (to get you started)Caraco, T and P. Sherman. 2007. Rewilding can cause rather than solve ecological problems.Nature 462: 985| doi:10.1038/462985b; drafted online 23 December 2009.Donlan, J. et al., “Re-wilding North America,” Nature 436 (18 Aug. 2005): 913-914.Luiz G. R. Oliveira-Santos and Fernando A. S. Fernandez, “Pleistocene Rewilding, FrankensteinEcosystems, and an Alternative Conservation Agenda,” Conservation Biology 24: 4.Michael Soul and Reed Noss, “Rewilding and Biodiversity: Complementary Goals forContinental Conservation,” Wild Earth 8 (Fall 1998) 19-28.Lorimer, J.A. et al. 2015. Rewilding: science, practice and politics. Annual Review ofEnvironment and Resources 40: 39-62. For an interesting popular account of rewilding in the UK, see:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/19/-sp-rewilding-large-species-britainwolves-bears 2 and in the Great White North (Siberia):http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/12/rewilding-great-white-north 3
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