I thought the article an example of fairly sloppy journalistic hype since an extinct bird can't return anywhere (or at least not with the current scientific knowledge vis a vis cloning). Even the article admits Cranes (the subject of the puff) already breed in East Anglia so are not even extinct in the UK anymore. Off hand not sure whether there's any evidence at all that they ever bred in the Somerset Levels (the proposed release site); place names may simply refer to wintering birds. Not that I disapprove of the project, merely the breathless misleading hype that accompanies it,
I do read this and have the same reaction I have when I read about re-introducing White-tailed eagles and Great Bustards in to the UK -- why?
Am I missing some greater conservation idea that these species will actually thrive in the UK?
I believe the manpower and cash spent on these type of projects would be better directed towards naturally occurring species that are in trouble.
I have to agree that this "bio-meddling" is a waste of time, effort and money. The Great Bustard introduction was a total fiasco and was, I have been informed, driven by the "tourist industry".
I would much rather see coveys of Grey Partridge, and hear Yellowhammers singing, as I did in my childhood. If I want to see Common Cranes I know where to go to see thousands, but at my expense.