Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lions, Camels and Elephants on the Great Plains!?

For many years now, the Great Plains region has been experiencing prolonged economic decline and population loss. There is continuous debate about what to do to revitalize this region. One of the more fanciful proposals was articulated in Scientific American several months back and recently received some coverage in the Washington Post. According to Joel Achenbach, the plan is to:

"Replace the extinct megafauna that once roamed the American West, back in the Pleistocene. We're talking lions, camels, elephants, cheetahs, and so on. Obviously you can't reintroduce an extinct species without some kind of Jurassic Park technology (that currently doesn't exist), but you can introduce the close cousins of said species, the ones still on Earth on other continents. They'd be kind of like Civil War re-enactors. The elephants would stand in for mammoths. The Asian lions that would be introduced are, according to the proponents, the same species as the lions that disappeared in the Pleistocene. Bactrian camels, now endangered in the Gobi desert, would be proxies for the extinct Pleistocene camel known as Camelops."

Check out the full article here:
Washington Post on Great Plains Plan

What do you think, lions, camels, elephants, cheetahs, and other exotic animals on the Great Plains? If so, do you think more people people will come visit me out here...?

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