Pyrenana Wild Goat: An Example for de-extinction as a way forward?

De-extinction means an artificial restoration of an extinct species! Although it may seems a laudable goal from an environmental and scientific perspective, in reality there are many drawbacks and detractors to an experiment of this type.

Ricardo Garcia and Antoni Margalida, scientists from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC) and the University of Lleida, have recently published a letter in the journal Conservation Biology, exposing the arguments that militate against the cloning of Pyrenean wild goat and exposed, among others, the following arguments:

  1. The genetic material for cloning belongs to a single old and sterile female highly inbreeded and with congenital heart disease which leads to pathological problems and lack of genetic variability.
  2. The technique of cloning is an expensive method, with uncertain results and an extremely low success rate. Animals born by this procedure are often malformed and exposed to the problems of premature aging.
  3. In the past it has invested considerable sums of public money on this project. This reduces the budgets allocated to environmental monitoring and other conservation projects with higher priority.
  4. From a more general point of view, scientists argue that the “de-extinction” of extinct species, reduce worldwide interest in the conservation of nature and relaxation of species recovery programs.
  5. In addition, the revitalization of dead species raises a number of ethical problems or even religious (think for example in revitalizing humans)…

Short summary of their article can be read here Pyrenean wild goat:

Vlado Vancura

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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2 thoughts on “Pyrenana Wild Goat: An Example for de-extinction as a way forward?

  1. Max makes some good points. I think that there is no use in even attempting to bring back such animals unless or until there is enough protected habitat for them to re-assume their role in the ecosystem. We are a very long way off from that.

  2. Hi, there also is the issue of ignoring the reason on why the snimal was extinct. Due to evolution several species simply outlived their role on this planet. Obviously quite a few were forced into extinction due to our ignorance toward nature but bringing them back does not solve the loss of the habitat unless we keep these cloned animals in a zoo…

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