Animal Studies Journal


This informal dialogue contextualises and explores contemporary practices of nonhuman animal gene-modification in de-extinction projects. Looking at recent developments in biotechnology’s role in de-extinction sciences and industries, these interdisciplinary scholars scrutinise the neoliberal impetus driving ‘species revivalism’ in the wake of the Capitalocene. Critical examinations of species integrity, cryo-preservation, techno-optimism, rewilding initiatives and projects aimed at restoring extinct animals such as the woolly mammoth and bucardo are used to map some of the necessary restructuring of conservation policies and enterprises that could secure viably sustainable – and just – futures for nonhuman animals at risk of extinction. The authors question what alternatives are being ignored in the wake of technoscientific responses to the climate emergency, and interpret the motivations, tactics and tools responsible for commodifying nonhuman animals down to the cellular level. Our conversation on the messy relations within endangered ecologies offers alternative approaches to environmental governance and strategies for addressing the climate and biodiversity crises today.