De-extinction technology that brings back extinct species, or variants on extinct species, is becoming a reality with significant implications for biodiversity conservation. If extinction could be reversed there are potential conservation benefits and costs that need to be carefully considered before such action is taken. Here, we use a conservation prioritization framework to identify and discuss some factors that would be important if de-extinction of species for release into the wild were a viable option within an overall conservation strategy. We particularly focus on how de-extinction could influence the choices that a management agency would make with regard to the risks and costs of actions, and how these choices influence other extant species that are managed in the same system. We suggest that a decision science approach will allow for choices that are critical to the implementation of a drastic conservation action, such as de-extinction, to be considered in a deliberate manner while identifying possible perverse consequences. A lay summary is available for this article.
- threatened-species management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics