As with all introduced or “alien” species though, the ecological impacts will be wide-ranging and not entirely predictable. More research into each of these individual occurrences will likely be needed to understand the bigger picture. Regardless, the study’s finding underscore the notion that in an era of human-dominance, we might have to start expanding our thinking on what it means for ecosystems to be ‘wild.’


“To conserve megafauna diversity effectively we shouldn’t discount introduced or feral populations,” said Lundgren. “They also require large areas to roam—necessitating landscape scale conservation. The conservation of these animals can end up being important to many other species because by protecting these large animals’ landscapes we protect the homes of many others.”