Jurassic Park in Siberia?
Last fall’s 16th annual Environmental Affairs Symposium, titled the Nature of the Unnatural, focused on “unnatural” modifications to our biophysical surroundings. The symposium explored complex issues such as genetically modified organisms, species resurrection, rewilding, ecological restoration, artificial intelligence, and the ethics of “messing with creation.”
The symposium’s kickoff event at the Oregon Zoo featured Nikita Zimov, director of Pleistocene Park, a project that is importing “megafauna” such as horses, bison, tigers— and perhaps even clones of woolly mammoths—into Siberia to cause massive landscape-scale ecological change. As the animals adapt, a newly engineered ecosystem is expected to develop that mimics the function of Siberian grasslands at the end of the Ice Age.