“Although mammoths are gone forever, horses are not” says Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History, another co-author. “The horse that lived in the Yukon 5,000 years ago is directly related to the horse species we have today, Equus caballus. Biologically, this makes the horse a native North American mammal, and it should be treated as such.” (MacPhee is the science advisor for CANA foundation)
From press release:
In a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications, McMaster University, Alberta University, Museum of Natural History, Yukon Territory Government researchers have found 30,000 past environments extracted from cored permafrost deposits extracted from the Krondike region of central Yukon Territory. We are publishing the DNA record of the year.
Analysis revealed that mammoths and horses had already declined sharply before the climate became unstable, but did not disappear immediately due to human overfishing, as previously thought. In fact, the evidence of DNA is Mammoth North American horses survived up to 5,000 years ago and were introduced in the mid-Holocene. This interval begins about 11,000 years ago, the one where we currently live.
Throughout the early Holocene, the Yukon environment continued to undergo major changes. The formerly rich grassland, the “mammoth steppe,” was flooded with shrubs and moss. Large grazing herds of mammoths, horses and bison no longer control the species. Today, grasslands are not thriving in northern North America. This is partly due to the lack of Megafauna “ecological engineers” to manage the grasslands.
“Abundant data provide a unique window to megafana population dynamics and provide nuances for discussions on megafana extinction through more subtle reconstructions of past ecosystems,” the lead author of the paper. And the evolutionary geneticist Hendrick Poiner, director of the McMaster Ancient DNA Center, said.
This work is built on Previous research According to McMaster scientists who decided on wool mammoths and North American horses, they may have existed in Yukon about 9,700 years ago. Since then, better technology and further research have refined previous analyzes and brought the date closer to modern times.
“Mammoths have disappeared forever, but horses aren’t,” says another co-author, the American Museum of Natural History, Ross McPhee. “The horses that lived in Yukon 5000 years ago are directly related to the horse species we have today. Equus caballus.. Biologically, this makes the horse a Native American mammal and should be treated as such. ”
Today, grasslands are not thriving in northern North America. This is partly due to the lack of Megafauna “ecological engineers” to manage the grasslands. “Ecological engineers” are large grazing herds of mammoths, horses and bison.
What will future samples uncover? The possibilities are exciting!
Wild Horse Education (WHE) is working with CANA Foundation team to turn new scientific discoveries into useful tools in the system of todays public lands management through our founder, Laura Leigh. Several months ago, as this research was going through peer review, she had the honor of talking about what was found with the dedicated group of scientists and CANA advisory members.
“Nativeness” does not, unfortunately, translate into protection of a species. We can look at the battle over the Greater Sage Grouse that is setting the stage for the largest public lands battleground in 2022 and see the complexities. There is a long road ahead just to get an “honest conversation.”
However, this research is a very valuable part of discovering the truth, dispelling myth and creating a foundation for preservation of our wild horses and the recovery of the land they need to survive for future generations.
Our teams are busy in field/table/legal action as we prep for another year of politics and drought that is set to hit wild horse country hard in 2022.
You can help us continue our innovative work and help keep our teams running for the wild.
Categories: Wild Horse Education