This article was originally published in Science


“Humans have encroached upon a majority of Earth’s lands. The current extinction crisis is a testament to human impacts on wilderness. If there is any hope of retaining a biodiverse planetary system, we must begin to learn how to coexist with, and leave space for, other species. The practice of “rewilding” has emerged as a method for returning wild lands, and wildness, to landscapes we have altered. Perino et al. review this concept and present a framework for implementing it broadly and in a way that considers ongoing human interaction.

The practice of rewilding has been both promoted and criticized in recent years. Benefits include flexibility to react to environmental change and the promotion of opportunities for society to reconnect with nature. Criticisms include the lack of a clear conceptualization of rewilding, insufficient knowledge about possible outcomes, and the perception that rewilding excludes people from landscapes. Here, we present a framework for rewilding that addresses these concerns. We suggest that rewilding efforts should target trophic complexity, natural disturbances, and dispersal as interacting processes that can improve ecosystem resilience and maintain biodiversity. We propose a structured approach to rewilding projects that includes assessment of the contributions of nature to people and the social-ecological constraints on restoration…”

Read on at: Science.