Some animals by their nature create and maintain biological diversity, making ecosystems stable and productive. The Pleistocene era, with its variety of megafauna, is the epitome of such ecological diversity. Restoring large creatures to the natural landscape can bring forth in the modern world similar environments of great ecological diversity and complexity.
Pleistocene Extinction & Resurrection
Scientists within the last decade have advanced by article and editorial justification for a Pleistocene rebirth in North America. They advocate the reintroduction of large animals in North America as part of a resurrection ecology. A Harvard professor in 2013 introduced a rationale for actually resurrecting extinct megafauna through DNA manipulation.
Europe, with so many close living relatives of its extinct megafauna, has been taking a leadership role in the actual reintroduction and protection of large animals.
Surprisingly, one of Europe's smallest countries, the Netherlands has taken the biggest step in Western Europe to create a living wilderness with a megafauna dominated ecology. This Oostvaardersplassen lies below sea level and its current 15,000 acres includes 3000 roaming wild horses, red deer and long-horned wild cattle.
The European Bison is subject of a Europe-wide effort to bring back this species from virtual extinction. The Wildland Research Institute in the United Kingdom aims to recreate wildlands and return exterminated species to Britain. Large herbivores have been advocated as a means to reduce wildfire danger in Mediterranean Europe. In Russia there is an ongoing effort to create an actual Pleistocene Park in Yakutia.