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Classroom Resources: Where the Wild Things Were

By William Stolzenburg
January-March 2006 (Vol. 7, No. 1)

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Discussion Questions

  1. What were the key premises agreed upon by the 12 co-authors of the “Rewilding” paper?  Do you agree with these premises?  Is there any other information that would be helpful to you in considering this?
  2. Why do the co-authors of this paper consider it to be an optimistic proposal?
  3. What is the relevance of Zimov’s research on Siberian tundra, and that of Springer and Estes on North Pacific marine mammals to the rewilding proposal for the North American continent?
  4. What is the rationale behind using ecological “proxies” for restoration?  What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of this strategy?
  5. The author states that the scientific response to this proposal has “uncannily skirted the science.”  What does he mean by this?  Do you agree?
  6. What do the rewilding proposal and responses to it suggest about the relationship between the scientific and social/political aspects of conservation biology in general?

Websites for Further Information

Rewilding in the News

Key Concepts

  • Ecological restoration
  • Rewilding
  • Pleistocene overkill hypothesis
  • Continental conservation
  • Large mammal conservation
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