If you could bring back one extinct game species, be it a bird or mammal, what would it be? With the dizzying pace of biotechnical advancements, that question is quickly becoming less and less academic. In fact, some researchers are actively working to “de-extinct” a number of lost species, including perhaps the most famously tragic extinction story of our time–the passenger pigeon. But even if it’s possible, is it a good idea?
From this story on scientificamerican.com:
_”…Such questions are set to be addressed March 15 at TEDx DeExtinction, a day-long event in Washington, D.C., organized by Stewart Brand’s Revive & Restore project. Brand previewed the topics for discussion last week at the TED2013 conference in Long Beach, Calif. Scientists are actively working on methods and procedures for bringing extinct species back to life, says Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive & Restore and co-organizer of the TEDx event.
__”The technology is moving fast. What Stewart and I are trying to do with this meeting is for the first time to allow the public to start thinking about this. We’re going to hear from people who take it quite seriously. De-extinction is going to happen, and the questions are how does it get applied, when does it get used, what are the criteria which are going to be set?”_
Last year, according to the story, the Revive and Restore project announced plans to begin work on how to bring back the passenger pigeon. Apparently there are some 1,500 preserved specimens out there with extractable DNA. Pretty fascinating stuff, and, ethics aside, it naturally got me to wondering about other species, specifically game species. Being a fan of upland birds, I think my first choice would be the heath hen, that long-gone prairie grouse of the eastern seaboard. What’s yours?