Preserving the descendants of now almost extinct species should not be howling at the moon! | Mint

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Professor Tracy Hester has written a very powerful article on efforts to preserve the descendants of red wolves in Texas. In a few paragraphs, Professor Hester summarizes the historic and mostly unsuccessful efforts to save the Red Wolves by moving them to the East Coast. It also succinctly explains why the Federal Endangered Species Act and its regulations may need to be revised to reflect 21st century science and the reality that, unfortunately, we have already failed to preserve some species, but that we can still preserve their descendants.

More generally, Professor Hester raises important questions worthy of our serious consideration regarding reasonable prospects for conservation success and the trade-offs we may have to make in defining what constitutes such success. As an example, I think of our coral reefs and the species that lived in this fragile ecosystem that simply cannot survive in our warmer climate. It would seem that we would like our laws to facilitate the next best thing instead of howling at the moon over opportunities already lost.

While debate has erupted over how to integrate cloning and other genetic technologies to protect endangered species or revive extinct species through experimental populations, the law and its regulations do not provide a path. obvious to protect common animals that may contain important genetic echoes of endangered species.

Ghost Wolves and Genetic Reliquaries

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