Reversing defaunation: Restoring species in a changing world

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Science  25 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6195, pp. 406-412
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251818

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The rate of biodiversity loss is not slowing despite global commitments, and the depletion of animal species can reduce the stability of ecological communities. Despite this continued loss, some substantial progress in reversing defaunation is being achieved through the intentional movement of animals to restore populations. We review the full spectrum of conservation translocations, from reinforcement and reintroduction to controversial conservation introductions that seek to restore populations outside their indigenous range or to introduce ecological replacements for extinct forms. We place the popular, but misunderstood, concept of rewilding within this framework and consider the future role of new technical developments such as de-extinction.

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