In northeastern Siberia near the Kolyma River south of Chersky in the Sakha Republic of Russia scientists are attempting to recreate a subarctic steppe grassland ecosystem that existed during the last ice age. Led by Dr Sergey Zimov the project aims to give support to the hypothesis that overhunting and not climate change was the main cause of wildlife extinction and the disappearance of grasslands at the end of the Pleistocene. An additional aim of the project is to research climate effects on the ecosystem with the hypothesis being that the change from tundra to grasslands will result in higher energy emissions and energy absorption in the area leading to less thawing of the permafrost and, thereby, less emission of greenhouse gases.
Large herbivores have been brought into the area so scientists can study their effect on local fauna. Ten domestic yak have already been brought into the park and soon a herd of bison (Wisents) will also be brought in. The park is also home to reindeer, elk, Yakutian horses, musk-ox, lynx, wolves, brown bear, red fox, and sables. There are plans to bring in many more animals including introduction of the Siberian Tiger. In addition, there are also plans to introduce WOOLLY MAMMOTH once DNA cloning is successful. But that is not all.
Beside plans to introduce Woolly Mammoths once cloning is successful there are also now plans to do the same for now extinct tigers, dogs, deer, and bison. Think of this place as sort of a real Jurassic Park!
A South Korean cloning expert, Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, has promised that the first cloned mammoth will be released in this park although he is not sure when cloning a mammoth will be successful. He points out that this area was the last area where it is believed the last mammoths lived before their extinction.
The part was established in 1977 and since then there has indeed been a gradual restoration of a mammoth steppe ecosystem.
This is already an interesting experiment but when some of the extinct species are cloned and brought to the park it should be even more interesting. But then there is the question…………..
Should we be cloning extinct species? What do you think?