Scientists think they can bring thylacines back to life within the next decade and the ABC is collecting your vote, your insights and questions about this de-extinction project.
There is a plan to edit the genome of a related species — the dunnart — to resemble the thylacine’s DNA, then use another relative as a surrogate to gestate the reincarnated baby thylacines.
Experts are divided as to whether bringing back the thylacien is a good idea. Some think restoring the thylacine would restore important ecosystem functions in the Tasmanian ecosystem. Having an apex predator in the ecosystem could help to suppress feral cats, thus helping to slow feral cat-driven extinctions of small mammals. The thylacine was also important to many aboriginal cultures and restoring the animal would help to restore lost cultural landscapes across Australia, not just Tasmania.
Others don’t think it’s such a great idea, or that it is even possible. One of the concerns is that the option of de-extinction will make us apathetic towards extinction.
Read more about the arguments for and against with these perspectives of four experts from diverse fields, then add your voice!