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Re: Quaternary Park?



At 06:49 PM 7/8/98 +1200, Derek Tearne wrote:
>At 16:20 -0500 7/7/98, Chris Campbell wrote:
>>But . . . gods, why?  We can barely keep the elephants we have alive,
>>and they want to add to our problems?  There's no place for mammoths in
>>the world today.  They're extinct, and life goes on.  Why bring back the
>>dead?
>
>And why bother trying to preserve species on the brink of extinction?
>They'd get wiped out by natural attrition anyway, not to mention the
>next mass extinction!
>
>There are many reasons why we're prepared to attempt to preserve species
>which are on the brink of extinction due to human environmental pressures
>(hunting, loss of habitat etc.).  These range from guilt through both
>philanthropy and greed[1] to survival[2].
>
>If we can justify attempting to save currently endangered species,
>then all those arguments can be used to justify the resurrection of
>species that we have already hunted/out competed to extinction.

I disagree with this argument.  For keeping extant species alive, we are
trying to maintain existing ecosystems.  Bringing back extinct species
would be to modify ecosystems.  Understandably, there is a fine line
as to recently lost species.  

As far as bringing back a mammoth is concerned, I believe the goal there
is different.  I can't imagine that anyone really expects to restore a
species in this manner, I doubt they will succeed any further than 
creating an interesting zoo animal.  From a scientific perspective, I
find it very intriguing, and would be dying to follow any results of the
work.  If nothing else, it will give us an idea of how well we can read
the fossil record, at least the recent fossil record.  

Does anyone know who is pursuing this venture?  Is it purely scientific
or is some economic enterest involved?

-Randy