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Frontiers of Biogeography

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An argument supporting de-extinction and a call for field research


With recent advances in biotechnology, the resurrection of recently extinct species has become a possibility, provoking a debate about the wisdom of what has become known as de-extinction. Regardless of the current feasibility and ethical controversies over de-extinction, ongoing technological advancement is likely to result in resurrected species in the near future. In our opinion, de-extinction will be followed by proposals for reintroduction into the wild. We argue that this development could be valuable for the advancement of ecological understanding and conservation.  However, the current conversations are happening in a vacuum. We therefore call for the initiation of field experiments using physiological and ecological surrogates. This type of research could shed light on the potential impacts of resurrected animals on modern ecosystems. While this research would have challenges, it could provide valuable information on th ecology of the past and better prepare scientists and wildlife managers for de-extinction.

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