America 's Big, Wild Animals

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Once humans migrated to North America and Australia, they killed or ate large animals, potentially wiping out entire species. Desertification, deforestation, erosion, and soil salinization were all human measures to build more cities. Changes in climate and diseases brought by domesticated animals were also linked to the extinction of large animals from Eurasia. The Pleistocene re-wilding of North America has two aspects: restoring past potential and preventing new extinctions with more protected populations. C. Josh Donlan from “Restoring America’s Big, Wild Animals” argues that although species such as camels, lions, and mammoths that disappeared 13,000 years ago cannot be brought back in the same form, restoring close relatives is a possibility and can potentially economically and culturally benefit ecosystems. Donlan then proceeds to explain the importance of large animals, his strategy, and challenges of reintroducing large creatures. On the other hand, Dustin R. Rubenstein, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Paul W. Sherman, and Thomas A. Gavin from “Pleistocene Park: Does Re-Wilding North America Represent Sound Conservation for the 21st Century?” assert that humans should focus on preventing the extinction of new animals since bringing back vanished species is improbable. In fact, restoring North America to its pre-human state may be detrimental to current species and ecosystems. C. Josh Donlan suggests that introducing close relatives of extinct species has the potential to
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