Rewilding: Will it work at all?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,281
Brassicaland
#1
To rewild an area means to return a previously developed area to wilderness.
Angkor ruin is an imperfect example of rewilding; too many human structures were left behind.
"Perfect rewilding" may mean removals of all human structures in a previously developed area and leave it to nature.
Since many species are at risk because of habitat loss, will this work at all?
How old is the phrase "rewild"?
What areas should we "abandon"?
How will such efforts serve wild lives?
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,477
#2
Eh, I think it is a misunderstanding of most environments on the planet that has had human habitation over centuries. The more we look into the past and try to understand the environment the more obvious how humans have shaped the environment to suit their own objectives. Even if a place looks 'wild' that does not mean it is natural if 'natural' means without the influence of man.

That said there are definitely rhythms to speciation and with the changing climate this area of natural sciences will become ever more important because man will have to assist species moving into new areas or retreating from areas no longer as hospitable for their survival.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,281
Brassicaland
#3
Eh, I think it is a misunderstanding of most environments on the planet that has had human habitation over centuries. The more we look into the past and try to understand the environment the more obvious how humans have shaped the environment to suit their own objectives. Even if a place looks 'wild' that does not mean it is natural if 'natural' means without the influence of man.

That said there are definitely rhythms to speciation and with the changing climate this area of natural sciences will become ever more important because man will have to assist species moving into new areas or retreating from areas no longer as hospitable for their survival.
Do you suggest that we should learn more about animal behaviours and habitats?
I am often tired of uneducated opinions on the Baidu forum.
 
Dec 2017
246
Regnum Teutonicum
#4
You don't have to remove all human traces from a specific area, only the poisonous and radioactive things as well as plastic. The rest nature will recycle even it takes a few generations. The other thing humans may have to do is to get rid of those invasive species which replace or mix with native species.

At least in Germany and the Netherlands rewilding is working. In Germany the consensus of the last decades is that only those species are reintroduced by humans which can't return by themselves so are either a) exctinct in the wild like the european bison or b) only settle in places were there is already a population of the species like the eurasian lynx. Those animals which can return by themselves like wolves are not reintroduced by people.
So examples of animals in Germany which have been or are being reintroduced by humans are eurasian lynx, european bison, alpine steinbock, bearded vulture, waldrapp (here people have to teach the first generations the migration routes), allis shad, atlantic salmon and other fishes. Examples of animals which have returned by themselves are wolves, elk/moose and grey seals. A few visits have been done by animals like brown bears and griffon vultures. Add to this animals naturally extending their habitat for the first time to Germany like eurasian collared dove (now nearly everywhere) and golden jackal (just starting).

A step further is a larger area, where you have as many of the large herbivores, carnivores and omnivores as possible, whose population is only regulated by winter and other natural factors. An example would be Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands, where roe deer, red deer, heck cattle and horses were reintroduced.

In an ideal scenario all native large animal species which are still alive for those two countries would include: roe deer, fallow deer, red deer, elk/moose, chamois (mountain areas), steinbock (mountain areas), heck cattle, european bison, hippopotamus (western area), wild boar, european wildcat, eurasian lynx, wolf, brown bear, leopard, spotted hyena and lion.

If by rewilding you mean not introducing native animals, but replacements for ecological niches, I would be very careful with that. One might think about and very carefully test closely related species like wild asian water buffalos Bubalus arnee for the extinct native murr water buffalo Bubalus murrensis, but I wouldn't do things like releasing cheetahs in North America, because some non-related extinct species (which maybe hunted like cheetahs today) lived there (like some people want to do).
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,281
Brassicaland
#5
You don't have to remove all human traces from a specific area, only the poisonous and radioactive things as well as plastic. The rest nature will recycle even it takes a few generations. The other thing humans may have to do is to get rid of those invasive species which replace or mix with native species.

At least in Germany and the Netherlands rewilding is working. In Germany the consensus of the last decades is that only those species are reintroduced by humans which can't return by themselves so are either a) exctinct in the wild like the european bison or b) only settle in places were there is already a population of the species like the eurasian lynx. Those animals which can return by themselves like wolves are not reintroduced by people.
So examples of animals in Germany which have been or are being reintroduced by humans are eurasian lynx, european bison, alpine steinbock, bearded vulture, waldrapp (here people have to teach the first generations the migration routes), allis shad, atlantic salmon and other fishes. Examples of animals which have returned by themselves are wolves, elk/moose and grey seals. A few visits have been done by animals like brown bears and griffon vultures. Add to this animals naturally extending their habitat for the first time to Germany like eurasian collared dove (now nearly everywhere) and golden jackal (just starting).

A step further is a larger area, where you have as many of the large herbivores, carnivores and omnivores as possible, whose population is only regulated by winter and other natural factors. An example would be Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands, where roe deer, red deer, heck cattle and horses were reintroduced.

In an ideal scenario all native large animal species which are still alive for those two countries would include: roe deer, fallow deer, red deer, elk/moose, chamois (mountain areas), steinbock (mountain areas), heck cattle, european bison, hippopotamus (western area), wild boar, european wildcat, eurasian lynx, wolf, brown bear, leopard, spotted hyena and lion.

If by rewilding you mean not introducing native animals, but replacements for ecological niches, I would be very careful with that. One might think about and very carefully test closely related species like wild asian water buffalos Bubalus arnee for the extinct native murr water buffalo Bubalus murrensis, but I wouldn't do things like releasing cheetahs in North America, because some non-related extinct species (which maybe hunted like cheetahs today) lived there (like some people want to do).
The treatment of invasive species should be taken with care; for example, is it possible to remove all dandelions in North America? Quite a few native species in North America are dependent on non-native species already.
Pumas are native to North America and urban sprawl may lead to more human conflicts with their habitats; what should be done?
Rewilding often means returning to the native nature; then, how should this be done?
 
Sep 2012
932
Spring, Texas
#6
The Amazon and the Eastern Forest of North America was crafted by human hands. It would seem someone was smart enough to realize that trees that bear fruit and nuts yield a better long term harvest than cereals and such. Humans have been modifying the locale plants for a LONG time.

Pruitt