Pleistoscene Rewilding: Bring Back the American Camel?

Connie Barlow, Rewilding Institute supporter, was interviewed recently at the University of Florida during a Deep Ecology public series.

“Rewilding Megafauna: Lions and Camels in North America?” can be found here.

Learn about the call for the return of the “American cheetah, the American camel, the American plains lion, the American mastodons and mammoths, and other species by using proxies from the Old World to restart their evolution in the New, and to restore their vital roles as shapers of ecological landscapes.”

Connie does presentations on North American Rewilding and her details can be found here.

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Lindy - April 8, 2007

THe camel was never native to North America – it was an introduced species. What would be the point of bringing them back to this country again? As far as I can tell the only real gain might be to save them from extinction in their native lands. However, since America is on the fast track to extincting itself we would probably not do the camel much good.

Alan - April 10, 2007

Well, we’ve got to do something. Too often these days I’m shrugging in resignation. That’t not good, especially for my soul.

Dave Foreman Fan - April 17, 2007

“How marvelous it must be to live in a country that still has beavers! We lost ours about 400 years ago.”

C.S. Lewis

Jacquelyn Gill - April 27, 2007

In fact, camels WERE native to North America – Camelops hesternus, which may not have had a hump and was closely related to the South American llama, roamed the continent until about 10,000 years ago, when the mammoths, mastodons, etc. went extinct.

Rafael Vivas Gonzalez - July 24, 2007

I think that this is a good idea and the most important is that we have evidence that the Camels and their relatives originated here, in the New World. This is demonstrated thanks to the fossil record. And the propose of the Pleistocene Rewilding Proyect is well supported. I’m agree with the Camel Reintroduction

joe and frona fileccia - October 28, 2007

camel’s lived in new mexico. we are finding peterfied teeth and peterfied poop from the prestoric camels

Connie Barlow - August 5, 2008

Torreya taxifolia was rewilded to its posited traditional interglacial homeland on July 30, 2008. Torreya Guardians assisted in the migration of 31 potted seedlings from captivity at a plant nursery in South Carolina to private forested lands (elevations 2600 and 3400 feet) in the mountains of North Carolina. You can view the PHOTO-ESSAY of this historic effort at:

Also be sure to click on this web pages to learn about the latest papers, news, and commentary on the assisted migration controversy:

Rob - October 28, 2009

I’m game, why not introduce several species and see what takes?

AJ - November 25, 2009

you are an idiot, lindy. the page is talking about prehistoric camel. three species of prehistoric camel are native to north america.

Melissa Savage - April 4, 2010

Restoration of camels to North America is a great idea. Camels are peaceful herbivores, and might retake their place in the landscape and wander about like deer or elk now do. Imagine how cool to look out the ranch house window and see two or three camels plodding by. WILD camels.

Wayne - July 1, 2010

AJ should not call people names. Camelids were native to North America.
I was fortunate to find one camelid track in shallow-water lake limestone
in southwestern Utah, dating about 120,000 years ago. Older camelid tracks were found near Enterprise Utah. It is believed these species, along with other megafauna, were exterminated by effects of a comet impact on the east coast of the US about 12,000 years ago.

Neal B - December 7, 2010

Another benefit of bringing back camel, horse, elephant & other extincted pleistocene species is for their effect on the landscape. Much as wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone caused the major growth of willows along Yellowstone streams because the Elk were chased away from the streams, camel, elephant, & horse will affect the vegetation in areas where they are introduced. Elephants in Southern Arizona would eat down the thorny shrubs, which cattle do not eat, & encourage the growth of grasses, which cattle do eat.

On a related, tho slightly different theme, the reintroduction of cheetahs to suitable Western habitat where wild horses & pronghorn antelope now range unchecked would reintroduce a natural predator which also was formerly a North America resident. Paleontologists accept the evidence that the pronghorn evolved into the world’s 2nd fastest land mammal due to predation by the American cheetah up until 10,000 years ago. There’s no reason why this can’t occur again in the right places. Southeastern Oregon and even Yellowstone come to mind, as both have pronghorn antelop herds.

Another option is to buy unproductive range land in the right location & create a suitable game park, a pleistocene park. Rancher/farmers in the right areas can gain by selling unproductive land & the local economy of that selected area, or areas, can benefit from safari tourism right here in the United States. I personally would love to visit a 1,000 sq. mile game park in West Texas or Kansas stocked with elephant, camel, horse, lion, cheetah, pronghorn, wolf, & even wild Texas longhorns, or buffalo. A park of that size certainly seems viable in the vast American midwest/western landscape. Texas along covers 267,000 sq. miles, so a 1,000 sq. mile game park uses less than 1/3 of a percent of Texas. There are other very viable game park scenarios that can be developed. All of them promise to help preserve threatened species as well as transform the landscape. Here’s my hope that we can do it someday!

Sylvanus - November 15, 2012

Hello, I wanted to send a greeting from Spain. I am passionate about “rewilding” and would like to invite you to visit my blog;, if want to know their scope in my country and exchange ideas. It can learn more about the species that disappeared in Spain and are being analyzed for future reintroduction to help increase biodiversity in this region of Europe.
Thank you for your dedication and contribution to the restoration of a natural environment that we never should lose planetarium.

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