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Our Expert Voices conversation on de-extinction.

Given the worsening biodiversity crisis and severely limited resources for reversing it, we need to act quickly and effectively. De-extinction is not the answer.

The cost: For the money it would cost to bring one species back from extinction and support it in the wild, we could save dozens more species from going extinct. Spending millions on resurrecting one species is a decision not spend it on living threatened species, and allow them to go extinct.

The real risk: Although some have legitimately suggested that we need to be careful introducing genetically-modified facsimiles of long-dead species into the wild, the greatest risk of de-extinction actually lies in wasted effort. Most of the species being mentioned as de-extinction candidates have either lost their habitat forever or would be subject to the same threats that drove them extinct in the first place.

For many conservation issues, we know what we need to do. Eastern forests are threatened by habitat loss and invasive species, not a lack of passenger pigeons. The Arctic is threatened by climate change, and introducing mammoths will not solve this.

Bottom line: De-extinction is a fascinating concept, but in its current form it is not an effective conservation tool.

Other voices in the conversation:

Molly Hardesty-Moore, ecologist, University of California, Santa Barbara: Don't forget an extinct creature's ecology

Ben J. Novak, biologist, The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback: De-extinction is like any other conservation program

Alejandro Camacho, legal scholar, University of California, Irvine: Wildlife laws aren't ready for the return of extinct species

John Hawks, paleoanthropologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Bringing back Neanderthals

Go deeper

Fight over Putin's pipeline consumes Congress

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration, House and Senate Democrats and even the German government are engaged in a multi-pronged effort to stop Congress from imposing mandatory sanctions on a Kremlin-backed natural gas pipeline.

Why it matters: President Biden's decision to let Nord Stream 2 proceed has put his allies in an uncomfortable bind. Republicans have already blocked dozens of Biden's foreign-policy nominees, and the dispute threatened to derail an annual defense bill passed by Congress every year for six decades.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 8 wounded

Police cars restrict access to Oxford High School following the shooting in Oxford, Michigan, on Tuesday. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

A 15-year-old sophomore was arrested after a shooting at a Michigan high school that left three people dead and eight others wounded Wednesday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The latest: Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a briefing Tuesday night that the suspect's father had on Friday bought the 9mm Sig Sauer pistol investigators believe was used in the shooting at Oxford High School. Authorities released the names of the victims late Tuesday.

City Council member Andre Dickens wins Atlanta mayoral race

Atlanta Mayor-elect Andre Dickens in Atlanta, Georgia, late Tuesday. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

City Council member Andre Dickens won a runoff election Tuesday to become Atlanta's next mayor, soundly beating the council's president Felicia Moore.

The big picture: Dickens was just a few months ago considered to have an outside chance of replacing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who announced in May that she wouldn't seek a second term.