Scientists propose to rebuild the American West by reintroducing gray wolves and beavers | Science & Technology News

In the face of growing threats to ecosystems from climate change, scientists in the US have come up with an “extremely ambitious” proposal to rebuild parts of the American West with how to reintroduce wolves and beavers.

Their plans come after President Joe Biden signed an executive order for his Beautiful America policy, related to a conservation effort aimed at saving 30% of water and land in the United States by 2030.

The administration’s plan is to address “a catastrophic extinction crisis that threatens our planet’s biodiversity and the health of the natural systems that provide food, water and other resources.” our”.

It came as NASA satellite images revealed Impact on the largest reservoir in the US, Lake Meadduring the worst drought in decades.

In an article published in the journal BioScience, titled Rewrite the American West20 scientists propose rolling back large reserves owned by the US federal government to address these concerns.

They have two big calls. First, end grazing on some federal lands, and second, restore two key species: the gray wolf and the North American beaver.

According to the letter, the challenges of preventing grazing on these lands are not so severe.

Ranchers can simply be reimbursed for lost grazing allocations, and forage-derived meat on federal lands accounts for only about 2% of output produced in the United States.

They proposed building a Western Rewilding Network covering nearly 500,000 square kilometers – twice the size of the UK – across 11 states: Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

But “an unprecedented period of converging crises in the American West, including prolonged droughts and water scarcity, extreme heat waves, massive wildfires caused at least in part by climate change, is an unprecedented time.” climate change and biodiversity loss” requires urgent action.

Read more: The beaver may be reintroduced to the countryside in English

A male beaver is released from its cage into a specially designed cage, as beavers are re-appearing in London for the first time in more than 400 years as part of a project led by Enfield Council and the University of London. Capel Manor School, on the grounds of Forty Farm Hall, Enfield, England, March 17, 2022. REUTERS / John Sibley

Why are there wolves and beavers?

Wolves and beavers have a significant impact on the ecosystems they occupy.

In the most famous case of gray wolves reincarnation – which arrived in Yellowstone National Park in 1996 after they became extinct locally in the 1920s – it resulted in a cascade effect on the entire planet. park ecosystem.

Wolves not only reduce the population levels of elk but also reduce their movement and grazing, causing an increase in the height of trees and other vegetation, thereby preventing erosion. land as well as allowing some other species to return to the park.

“By cutting down trees and shrubs and building dams, beavers enrich fish habitats, increase water and sediment holding capacity, maintain water flow during dry periods, provide moist fire wet, improve water quality, begin to restore canals, increase carbon sequestration and generally improve habitats, the researchers write.

An image from the study showing the impact of the interventions suggested by the scientists.  Photo: BioScience
The study shows the impact of the proposed interventions. Photo: BioScience

They believe that replanting plans could benefit 92 endangered and endangered species.

In addition to a concern for the survival and development of the human species, a principled commitment to the natural world and a sense of ethical urgency underpin the impetus for our proposal, the authors write. we”.

“Our plan represents a historic opportunity to rebuild important parts of the American West that can serve as an inspiring model for other regions and will secure our natural heritage.” Ours remains intact for future generations.”

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