Re-wilding

Monty Pigeon

Striker
Without any parents I wonder how they would fare though, they wouldn't have a scoobies what to do as a wild mammoth in the tundra would they or deep in their dna would some natural instinct kick in?
Sorry if that sounds like a daft question I just thought about it when introducing long extinct creatures.

There's already been a lot of research into orphaned elephants. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya has a lot of expertise in raising young pachyderms and preparing them for reintegration into the wild. Of course, nobody has ever studied mammoth behaviour, and therefore there'd have to be guess work as to herd structure and daily rhythms. Elephant society is very complex, and it can't be taken for granted that the complexities of mammoth society would be the same. However, much of their behaviour is innate, and skilled zoologists would be able to interpret behavioural patterns and adapt any program to fit.

We already know what elephant society is like without guiding adults. In Tsavo National Park, after a huge die-off due to famine in the early 70s (followed by an explosion of poaching), many herds were left with teenagers in charge. They ran riot for a while.

(An interesting side note: The disaster in Tsavo was in part due to the head warden, David Sheldrick, not implementing a culling program when it became clear that the elephant population there had outstripped the carrying capacity of the park. When drought struck, thousands of elephants died of starvation. The tusks were there for the taking, which expanded the ivory market. When the drought was over, the middle men still wanted ivory, and so poaching increased to supply the demand. Subsequently, it was David's widow Daphne who pioneered the rehabilitation of orphaned elephants. Successful conservation, at all levels, is very much a process of trial and error. One of the lessons of Tsavo was that, when culling is necessary for the health of the ecosystem, it's best to take out entire herds rather than leave behind traumatised individuals.)
 


AB22 Easy Tiger

Head Prefect
Staff member
There's already been a lot of research into orphaned elephants. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya has a lot of expertise in raising young pachyderms and preparing them for reintegration into the wild. Of course, nobody has ever studied mammoth behaviour, and therefore there'd have to be guess work as to herd structure and daily rhythms. Elephant society is very complex, and it can't be taken for granted that the complexities of mammoth society would be the same. However, much of their behaviour is innate, and skilled zoologists would be able to interpret behavioural patterns and adapt any program to fit.

We already know what elephant society is like without guiding adults. In Tsavo National Park, after a huge die-off due to famine in the early 70s (followed by an explosion of poaching), many herds were left with teenagers in charge. They ran riot for a while.

(An interesting side note: The disaster in Tsavo was in part due to the head warden, David Sheldrick, not implementing a culling program when it became clear that the elephant population there had outstripped the carrying capacity of the park. When drought struck, thousands of elephants died of starvation. The tusks were there for the taking, which expanded the ivory market. When the drought was over, the middle men still wanted ivory, and so poaching increased to supply the demand. Subsequently, it was David's widow Daphne who pioneered the rehabilitation of orphaned elephants. Successful conservation, at all levels, is very much a process of trial and error. One of the lessons of Tsavo was that, when culling is necessary for the health of the ecosystem, it's best to take out entire herds rather than leave behind traumatised individuals.)
Sad, but true
 

Tuono

Midfield
There's already been a lot of research into orphaned elephants. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya has a lot of expertise in raising young pachyderms and preparing them for reintegration into the wild. Of course, nobody has ever studied mammoth behaviour, and therefore there'd have to be guess work as to herd structure and daily rhythms. Elephant society is very complex, and it can't be taken for granted that the complexities of mammoth society would be the same. However, much of their behaviour is innate, and skilled zoologists would be able to interpret behavioural patterns and adapt any program to fit.

We already know what elephant society is like without guiding adults. In Tsavo National Park, after a huge die-off due to famine in the early 70s (followed by an explosion of poaching), many herds were left with teenagers in charge. They ran riot for a while.

(An interesting side note: The disaster in Tsavo was in part due to the head warden, David Sheldrick, not implementing a culling program when it became clear that the elephant population there had outstripped the carrying capacity of the park. When drought struck, thousands of elephants died of starvation. The tusks were there for the taking, which expanded the ivory market. When the drought was over, the middle men still wanted ivory, and so poaching increased to supply the demand. Subsequently, it was David's widow Daphne who pioneered the rehabilitation of orphaned elephants. Successful conservation, at all levels, is very much a process of trial and error. One of the lessons of Tsavo was that, when culling is necessary for the health of the ecosystem, it's best to take out entire herds rather than leave behind traumatised individuals.)
Tsavo East or Tsavo West. 😉
 

Monty Pigeon

Striker
Tsavo East or Tsavo West. 😉

:)

It was actually both, but more East. At the time of the die-off, many of my childhood holidays were in Tsavo West, and we saw plenty of carcasses - but it was much worse whenever we went into East. (Years later, I got married on a hilltop in Tsavo West that I knew as a nipper.)
 
That's what I thought about yours.
What, you think it's bizarre to question the merits of reintroducing a wild animal into an ecosystem that it's been absent from for 6,000 years?

Perhaps we should stick sharks in swimming pools while we're at it.
 

fyl2u

Striker
What, you think it's bizarre to question the merits of reintroducing a wild animal into an ecosystem that it's been absent from for 6,000 years?

No, I think it's bizarre to make a blanket statement about it not belonging there.

If you read the thread and watch the videos that have been posted on it, you'll see that there are plenty of very good reasons to do it, regardless of how long an animal has been missing from the ecosystem.

Many of the creatures did "belong" there before humans came along and hunted them until there were none left in that area.
 

Monty Pigeon

Striker
What, you think it's bizarre to question the merits of reintroducing a wild animal into an ecosystem that it's been absent from for 6,000 years?

Perhaps we should stick sharks in swimming pools while we're at it.

You're restoring a depleted ecosystem. The interconnectedness of an ecosystem is often not entirely understood until one species is removed and others then mysteriously begin to decline.

In Great Britain (the island) our natural environment was altered irrevocably, for instance, by the extinction in the Bronze Age of wild cattle - aurochs. It's only relatively recently that the impact has been understood, and any attempt at rewildling usually includes an aurochs substitute to churn up the ground, keeping forest glades open, and providing the conditions for a wider array of plants (and, therefore, more species of insects and birds).

A swimming pool is not an ecosystem. Forests, grasslands, ponds and lakes, estuaries, heathland etc are. If we're aware of missing pieces of the puzzle, we should try to restore them - it vastly improves the health of our environment.
 
You're restoring a depleted ecosystem. The interconnectedness of an ecosystem is often not entirely understood until one species is removed and others then mysteriously begin to decline.

In Great Britain (the island) our natural environment was altered irrevocably, for instance, by the extinction in the Bronze Age of wild cattle - aurochs. It's only relatively recently that the impact has been understood, and any attempt at rewildling usually includes an aurochs substitute to churn up the ground, keeping forest glades open, and providing the conditions for a wider array of plants (and, therefore, more species of insects and birds).

A swimming pool is not an ecosystem. Forests, grasslands, ponds and lakes, estuaries, heathland etc are. If we're aware of missing pieces of the puzzle, we should try to restore them - it vastly improves the health of our environment.
This is how you do it @fyl2u.

Interesting post.

Still, 6,000 years is a long time.
 

Monty Pigeon

Striker
This is how you do it @fyl2u.

Interesting post.

Still, 6,000 years is a long time.

Not in the evolutionary timescale. Ecosystems take millions of years to evolve. Some of the impacts of the removal of a species may take thousands of years to become apparent.

If a species became extinct through natural causes (climate, disease) then there's an argument against reintroduction. But if they became extinct due to the intervention of humans (eg. the scimitar-horned oryx was largely wiped out by hunters firing AK47s from Jeeps), then, now that we have an increasing understanding of ecology, we should try to rectify the damage.
 

pinewaves1868

Central Defender
If nature was any good at it's job it would make more of these things to make up for numbers lost.
The only species we should be (allowed) any involvement with, in any way, is human (beans).
Cull the humans to give "nature" a chance.
 

mag in peace

Striker
Lost Magpie
They have done vast rewilding in Freiburg in Germany. They have 'controlled' the wild life so they live amongst it.

It's quite beautiful.
 

Tuono

Midfield
:)

It was actually both, but more East. At the time of the die-off, many of my childhood holidays were in Tsavo West, and we saw plenty of carcasses - but it was much worse whenever we went into East. (Years later, I got married on a hilltop in Tsavo West that I knew as a nipper.)
I took a great photograph once from Tsavo West (I think) of about 20 elephants heading in single file towards Kilimanjaro in the far distance. I'm guessing Kilimanjaro must have been 60+ miles away at least, but in the photo it looked about 10 miles away. Sadly all my decent photographs from Kenya are long gone, the only ones I have now are the crap ones that were just thrown in the back of a drawer.
The hilltop you mention was it a lone hill with a sort of viewing platform at the top with views in all directions? We stopped off at a place like that but I don't remember where.
 

Monty Pigeon

Striker
I took a great photograph once from Tsavo West (I think) of about 20 elephants heading in single file towards Kilimanjaro in the far distance. I'm guessing Kilimanjaro must have been 60+ miles away at least, but in the photo it looked about 10 miles away. Sadly all my decent photographs from Kenya are long gone, the only ones I have now are the crap ones that were just thrown in the back of a drawer.
The hilltop you mention was it a lone hill with a sort of viewing platform at the top with views in all directions? We stopped off at a place like that but I don't remember where.

Poachers' Lookout, it's called. I used to have picnics up there as a kid. Great views of Kilimanjaro most mornings, but we got married in late afternoon, so it was mostly obscured by the cloud that had gathered during the day.

Amboseli is the best place to get pics of elephants with Kili behind them. It's much closer, and it's mostly open grassland.
 

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