Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Case for Bringing Back the Heath Hen?

Folks - Here is a link to an article from the Vineyard Gazette.

Apparently these people are serious.

The problem I have is not bringing back a species from extinction, it is where are you going to put them?

There are reasons that many birds went extinct, Foremost of those is the destruction of habitat necessary to sustain a self-perpetuating population.

With Greater Prairie Chickens- Dr. John Toepfer, William Vodehnal, and many other outstanding researchers are on record ( A Grassland Conservation Plan for Prairie Grouse, Vodehnal & Haufler,    2008) that this bird requires something along the line of 225,000 acres of habitat. The last remaining location in the world for Heath Hens was along the South Road between West Tisbury and Edgartown, Massachusetts- a place I am very familiar with.

The Heath Hen went extinct in 1932. Currently, this area on the island of Martha's Vineyard is rather expensive. I just checked the price of land in West Tisbury and for 9.3 acres you can pick it up for $2,200,000. That's an average of $236,600 per acre.

So for only $53 billion, 236 Million plus the cost of creating the bird in a genetics lab you can once again have a sustaining population of Heath Hens in the last place on earth where they survived.

That just seems like a little bit of a stretch to me....

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