Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Big game 'could roam US plains'

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature |

"Big game 'could roam US plains'

The animals would fill a void in the ecosystem
Yep, there is a void OKAY. We don't have lions in the West. The fact that we have NEVER HAD LIONS IN THE WEST doesn't bother these highly paid junk scientists.
If a group of US researchers have their way, lions, cheetahs, elephants and camels could soon roam parts of North America, Nature magazine reports.
The plan, which is called Pleistocene re-wilding, is intended to be a proactive approach to conservation.
The initiative would help endangered African animals while creating jobs, the Cornell University scientists say.
Cool, help the animals, create jobs. What kind of jobs. Tell you what, lets drop off the lions and cheetahs and THEN drop off these Cornell yoohoos so the "endangered African animals" can have a hot lunch.
Evidence also suggests, they claim, that 'megafauna' can help maintain ecosystems and boost biodiversity.
Oh, here is that word "evidence". What evidence? or a better question WHO'S EVIDENCE? Lemmesee, "maintain ecosystems"... How does a cheetah running down a western mountain goat "maintain" the ecosystem? What are these asshats going to do when the predators they introduce run out of game? They will starve, you know.
'If we only have 10 minutes to present this idea, people think we're nuts,' said Harry Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, US.
Yes, Harry you ARE NUTS...
'But if people hear the one-hour version, they realise they haven't thought about this as much as we have. Right now we are investing all our megafauna hopes on one continent - Africa.'
Wild America

During the Pleistocene era - between 1.8 million to about 10,000 years ago - North America was home to a myriad of mega fauna.

Gaining public acceptance is going to be a huge issue, especially when you talk about reintroducing predators
Yep, we still have LOTS of guns. Let a lion walk onto my property and he'll make a good rug.

Josh Donlan, Cornell University

Once, American cheetah (Acinonyx trumani) prowled the plains hunting pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) - an antelope-like animal found throughout the deserts of the American Southwest - and Camelops, an extinct camelid, browsed on arid land.

But man's arrival on the continent - about 13,000 years ago, according to one prevalent theory - pushed many of these impressive creatures to extinction.
Okay... 13,000 years AFTER WE LEAVE they can come back. By the way "prevalent theory" = a huge mound of horse feces. Clean it up Cornell.

Their disappearance left glaring gaps in the complex web of interactions, upon which a healthy ecosystem depends. The pronghorn, for example, has lost its natural predator and only its startling speed - of up to about 60mph - hints at its now forgotten foe.
GLARING GAPS, Oh my ....

By introducing living counterparts to the extinct animals, the researchers say, these voids could be filled. So, by introducing free-ranging African cheetahs to the Southwest, strong interactions with pronghorns could be restored, while providing cheetahs with a new habitat.
Did one of these asshats ask the pronghorns how they felt about the "strong interactions"? Did they explain to the pronghorns that they are going to be eaten? Did they tell the pronghorns that now they will have to deal with both man and cheetah...

Public acceptance

Other living species that could "stand in" for Pleistocene-era animals in North America include feral horses (Equus caballus), wild asses (E. asinus), Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus), Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants and lions (Panthera leo).

"Obviously, gaining public acceptance is going to be a huge issue, especially when you talk about reintroducing predators," said lead author Josh Donlan, of Cornell University. "There are going to have to be some major attitude shifts. That includes realising predation is a natural role, and that people are going to have to take precautions."
Yep and the most major attitude shift should be by the idiot who pays you a salary Josh.

However Americans might do more than put up with their new compatriots - they might actually welcome them.

According to Dr Donlan and his colleagues, the re-wilding plan would offer ecotourism and land-management jobs to help the struggling economies of the Great Plains and Southwest.

Dr Donlan said that large tracts of private land are probably the most promising place to start, with each step carefully guided by the fossil record and the involvement of experts and research.

"We are not advocating backing up a van and letting elephants and cheetah out into the landscape," he said. "All of this would be science driven."
Yep Josh, and I am sure that the "private land" owners will be happy to see you come, and greet you with, lemmeesee, something 30 caliber or above...
We are paying these asshats with our money we use to educate our kids


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