Ecosystems Restored

Ecosystems Restored

What if we could bring the Dodo back?

When the Dodo went Extinct in 1662, it became the symbol of human-driven extinction – a species gone forever. But what if we could bring the Dodo back from extinction and return it to its native home on Mauritius?

While bringing the Dodo back would be amazing in itself, the fact is that we could not return the Dodo to the wild without first restoring its ecosystem. The habitat of the Dodo remains, but it is degraded by invasive species.

To restore the Dodo in the wild means restoring an entire ecosystem, which would have significant positive impacts for a host of other native and threatened species. Restoring the Dodo’s ecosystem will also help the people of Mauritius as ecosystem services will be rebuilt and tourist could significantly increase.    

Re:wild’s Reintroduction Track Record

Re:wild has a long history of working with local and international partners, Indigenous peoples and local communities on successful reintroductions and translocations of threatened species, from Tasmanian Devils to Cuban Crocodiles. Importantly, this includes always upholding Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which is a right that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established and that aligns with Indigenous peoples’ universal right to self-determination.

How does the introduction, reintroduction or translocation of a species help the overall health of our planet? 

Think about each species in an ecosystem as a block in the game of Jenga. Each of those blocks plays an important role in keeping the tower upright. As you lose blocks, the tower loses its integrity and at some point will topple. What we’re trying to do with recently Extinct species and species on the brink is return those to the wild to viable population sizes, which will have a cascading impact on restoring their ecosystem back to health. 

The case of the Tasmanian Devil

Re:wild partnered with Aussie Ark and WildArk to return the Tasmanian Devil to mainland Australia, where it had vanished 3,000 years ago. As native apex predators, the Tasmanian Devil helps control feral cats and foxes that threaten other threatened and native species. Because they are scavengers, the devils help keep their home clean and free of disease. They are one of seven cornerstone species – critical to Australia’s ecosystem – being returned as a solution to the biodiversity loss crisis.

It took 50 years between the first idea to reintroduce Gray Wolves back into Yellowstone and their actual reintroduction.

These processes require sound science, deep community engagement, and strong political will. We will strive to follow the highest standards throughout the implementation of these projects.

We are very early in our journey to reintroduce species that humans have driven to extinction. The exact sites where reintroductions could occur have not been identified yet and will require deep consultation with local governments, Indigenous peoples and local communities, and all stakeholders.


Mauritius is the ancestral home of the Dodo. Initial conversations with key partners has led to the identification of three possible reintroduction sites, but we still have a long way to go to confirm a site. All potential sites have nonnative invasive species such as rats that, in large part, led to the extinction of the Dodo in the first place. Whichever site is chosen, the removal of all invasive species will be required alongside a strong biosecurity program to prevent any reinvasion. This will have a significant impact on a host of other native species that are impacted by invasive species.

The Dodo's habitat will need to be restored, tourism operations will need to prepare, communities will need to deeply engage in the management of the site, and there must be a transparent benefit-sharing mechanism that allows local communities to benefit from the presence of Dodo. Prior to any releases, we will work with and support local partners to address these important steps first.


Since committing to restoring the Thylacine Colossal has made significant advances in this pursuit, including the announcement of the formation of the Tasmania Thylacine Advisory Committee. Led by Tasmanian Mayor of Derwent Valley, Michele Dracoulis, this committee will provide a crucial public body for the discussion, development and dissemination of plans related to the rewilding of the Thylacine. Additionally, Colossal is working with local landowners in Tasmania to identify rewilding sites in order to begin working site preparation today.

North America

We are working to identify both a suitable site for Arctic rewilding and partners to collaborate with locally. The first step is to connect with local communities, Indigenous peoples, local governments and other stakeholders to develop a shared vision for the site. Next we will work together on effective management of the site to protect native species and reintroduce species currently missing from the ecosystem.

The Annamites

Snaring, driven by the demand for wildlife products in the urban middle class, has had a dramatic impact on the terrestrial vertebrate community of the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos. Re:wild has been working with partners to address the snaring crisis in three parks in Vietnam and have demonstrated a reduction in snaring. We are also supporting the development of a conservation breeding center in Vietnam for a range of threatened endemic species. We plan to use a combination of wildlife crime prevention and conservation breeding and reintroductions to rewild these core sites.