This paper takes a critical perspective on the emerging prospect of ‘de-extinction’ as a response to the current period of massive biodiversity loss. Drawing on our own humanities and social sciences research into the complex cultural contexts in which conservation and extinction take place, we question some of the underlying philosophical premises of de-extinction projects, their potential to undermine existing relationships between conservationists and local communities and their capacity to elide the more significant issues of the complexity of human involvement in all this death.

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