The Past Isn't Dead: The Last 2 Million Years Can Help Biodiversity in the Next 100
In contrast, the extinction of ice age megafauna has been extensively studied, but until recently, most research has focused on the causes of that extinction (largely focusing on humans versus climate). However, we know much less about the long-term ecological legacies of those extinctions. This leads to the question: if a mammoth dies in the forest, what happens to the trees? Quite a lot, it turns out; large herbivores appear to buffer the impact of climate change on plants, and their removal had large-scale consequences for modern ecosystems that are still playing out today. These lessons from the past can help inform cutting edge—but often controversial—conservation strategies, from managed relocation of species to de-extinction and rewilding.