Listen to a part of a lecture in a conservation biology class.
One consequence of global warming is extinction, there is compelling evidence that global warming will be a significant driver of many plant and animal extinctions in this century.
So we are considering various strategies to help some threatened species survive this unprecedented, this warming trend which, as you know, is caused mainly by green houses gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels.
The most radical strategy being debated among conservation biologists is assisted migration.
Assisted migration means picking up members of the species or members of a group of interdependent species and physically moving or translocating them. Translocating threatened species to a cooler place to higher latitudes or higher elevations for example.
Now migrations are natural survival strategy.
Over the past of million years, colder glacial periods have alternated with warmer inter-glacial periods.
And so in response to this gradual climatic swings, some species have shifted their ranges hundreds of kilometres.
So perhaps you are wondering why not let nature take its course now.
Well we can't. The main problem is today's fragmented habitats.
During previous inter-glacial periods, when glaciers retreated they left behind open land in their wakes.
Today human development has paved much of the natural world.
Ecosystems are fragmented, housing developments, highways, and cities were placed or sliced through forests and prairies .
There are few quarters left for species to migrate through without help.
So conservationists are trying to save as many species as possible.
Now, assisted migration could become a viable part of our rescue strategy, but there are a number of uncertainties and risks.
Without more research we can't predict if assisted migration will work for any given species.
A translocated species could die out from a lack of food for example.