We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost?

We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost?

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By STEPH YIN

An illustration of an extinct rat kangaroo, published in 1825. Researchers recently analyzed the costs and benefits of re-establishing and maintaining 16 species in Australia and New Zealand that went extinct in the last millennium. Credit Florilegius, via Getty Images

With enough determination, money and smarts, scientists just might revive the woolly mammoth, or some version of it, by splicing genes from ancient mammoths into Asian elephant DNA. The ultimate dream is to generate a sustainable population of mammoths that can once again roam the tundra.

But here’s a sad irony to ponder: What if that dream came at the expense of today’s Asian and African elephants, whose numbers are quickly dwindling because of habitat loss and poaching?