Lost Wildlife Wars Cont.
Through the centuries huge number of native animal species have gone extinct due to humans and their actions. This occurs either as a direct outcome of hunting or habitat destruction or in-directly through the introduction of predators and pest species. These either prey on native organisms or compete with them. Often these pressures add to the normal background natural attrition rate. A rate governed by the balance of birth, natural death and predation or competition from native fauna and flora. The human impact that many ecosystems have experienced historically lead to widespread extinctions. Most occurring within the first 100 years of a human colonization. We will explore historic records of extinctions via various means not limited to human activity. We will chart the early history of New Zealand which saw 50% of our native birds disappear off the face of the earth. In this setting we will look at peoples values which influence sustainability of indigenous species. This term will be delivered in three blocks. The first looks at the demise of the Passenger Pigeon, the Dodo and the Secretary bird which are all extreme cases of pigeon catastrophy. Next we will look at our own conservation champion, Richard Henry, a visionary that set out to start the first conservation island to protect vulnerable New Zealand species. Finally our journey arrives at what can be done after it is all too late. We will look at the genetics and ethics around De-Extinction which is the resurrection of extant species from Ancient DNA.