The EarthArk Project Goals and Earthark Project – Sample Index Page are designed to restore plant life to a ravaged Earth. The Life Haven Project is designed to save a viable sample of humanity from the instant destruction of a Doomsday War. Both of those projects have their validity but they leave a gap in the restoration of the animals to the Earth. The animals will not have the ability to survive a nuclear winter, in their native habitat, caused by explosion of the world’s arsenals, when it is unremittingly dark and cold for several months possibly for a couple of years. Even if these animals survive the radioactivity it will be near impossible for them to survive without fresh food for more than a few months. In that time everything edible by a given animal species will have been consumed and starvation becomes inevitable.
Some domestic animals might be brought into survival shelters and fed food from fodder silos but that will be a very few animals and if any survive, which is problematic, they will be needed for breeding stock and not available for human consumption for several years. Wild animals are much worse off because all of them, of every description, will be out in the open and subjected to radioactivity directly which will kill many of them and to contaminated food which will kill most if not all of the surviving herbivores and when they die the few surviving carnivores will soon starve. The Southern Hemisphere will be better off because there are fewer targets to be hit with atomic bombs and the radioactivity and nuclear winter won’t be so bad. It is impossible to know how bad it will get because there are far too many variables to even make an estimate. Perhaps the most reasonable approach is to estimate the worst likely outcome and then hope for a better one.
The hope for humans in the Northern Hemisphere in an all out Doomsday War is grim and only the most thoroughly stocked shelter with over a years supply of food has much chance of survival. In the south perhaps a months secure stockpile might suffice and a good chance that a years supply would be adequate. Those estimates are for humans with forethought and enough money at present to stockpile the necessary things. For wild animals, even in the Southern Hemisphere, the constant exposure to the environmental stress would probably kill them several times over. Dead directly from exposure to radioactivity, dead from eating radioactive contaminated food, dead from their food withering and dieing and thus from starvation, dead from unusually long-term cold temperatures, dead from stress and despair and death from desperate humans hunting them to extinction.
Domesticated animals which can be brought indoors and protected and fed for several months and should survive as well as humans. However, a single cow would eat a huge amount of stored food in a few months and if fresh grass couldn’t be grown when the stored food ran out they would starve. A better plan might be to bring in small animals like rabbits and chickens. Don’t worry about rats, mice and cockroaches they will find a way to survive without our help.
Those types of problems are the ones to consider when trying to make plans for the survival of the animal life after the Doomsday War. There are many more but perhaps if these natural human Life Havens could be intentionally stockpiled with wild species as well as artificially infused with a maximum of domesticated ones, with sperm banks, it could form a good start on repopulating the north. The artificial Lifehavens – A list of potential refuges for humanity’s survival, would be on the remote islands of the south. They would have as great a variety of small animals as is possible for them to maintain. But they are small, remote, almost uninhabitable and undesirable for normal human habitation.Large wild animals require a huge expanse of good quality land to maintain and would require very large zoos in more temperate areas supported by outside money. These zoos couldn’t be maintained in the remote Life Havens and would have to be in Argentina and New Zealand and supported by the economies of the north.
Who knows where the A-bombs will fall but where the people are is probably a good proxy of the latitudes where they will be deployed. The graph on the right above shows the population at each latitude and the map to the left related to it shows how the vast majority of people live in the Northern Hemisphere. For the purpose of The Life Haven Project it is obvious that New Zealand and Argentina would be mostly out of the fallout because there are few targets in those countries. Even if their few cities were destroyed the fallout would have to travel all the way around the world and it would decrease in intensity before it would expose anything on land further. Thus their farms and forests should be effected minimally. The low latitude tropical plant and animal populations might be more effected than is implied in the graph because it is reported that tropical plants and animals are more sensitive to environmental disruptions than temperate ones.
When we think of civilization as having been here since the Egyptian pyramids for some 5000 years it become an easy stretch of the mind to think of 5000 more years of civilization. However, when one thinks about the present population explosion and the access to Weapons of Extermination presently held by several conflicting groups it is obvious that something dreadful will happen in that vast expanse of time. Therefore, if the Earth is to be repopulated with the plants and animals which we now claim to value we must provide a zoo for them to survive the coming Doomsday. Saying we want to preserve them and making valiant efforts to save their existing habitats is optimistic in the extreme. However, providing a safe place for some of the species to survive would make the world of the future more varied and more livable. Hopefully giving humanity a second chance would prevent the disaster from recurring.
Humans are slow learners but they can learn if given unequivocal experience.