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Rewilding and biodiversity: complementary tools for continental conservation.

abstract1 (full description below): Wild Earth, Fall:18-28.
Rewilding and biodiversity. PDF/Acrobat file     SoulĂ©, M. and R.K. Noss.

DISPUTES ABOUT GOALS AND METHODOLOGY are nothing new in the nature conservation movement. Gifford Pinchot's insistence on responsible use and Juhn Muir's emphasis on strict preservation have survived as distinct ideologies for nearly a century. Currently, conservationists are discussing and implementing two versions of science-based or science-informed methodologies for conservation. We refer to the older and more conventional of these as biodiversity conservation; it stresses the representation of vegetation or physical features diversity and the protection of special biotic elements. The other we refer to as wilding; it emphasizes the restoration and protection of big wilderness and wide-ranging, large animals-particularly carnivores. Differences between these two approaches have led to some tension about goals within wildlands conservation circles, in part because of the human tendency to dichotomize and to perceive different emphases as competitive rather than complementary. In this paper we define rewilding, placing it in the context of older conservation currents in North America.