Large herbivore loss to create ‘barren landscape’: Study
The number of elephants, rhinos and many other species of bigger animals is going down in many parts of the world. Many lionsâ€™ zones where they were found in large numbers there are none, notwithstanding the fact that these areas are still known as such.
A latest study has found that in the coming years we may have to stare at barren landscape due to the absence of wildlife in those parts of the world and without doubt it is a scary proposition.
The study claims that as many as 60 percent of herbivores including rhinos, elephants and gorillas, chimpanzees and ostriches may become extinct in the coming days. A report just published in the Science Advances that analyses as many as 74 major herbivore species says that poaching and habitat loss are actually behind the decline.
The lead author of the study Prof William Ripple, of Oregon State University while talking about the findings says, â€œThis is the first time anyone has analysed all of these species as a wholeâ€¦The process of declining animals is causing an empty landscape in the forest, savannah, grasslands and desert.â€ The researchers analyzed herbivores weighing over 100kg, from the reindeer up to the African elephant.
Other experts too are excited with the findings of the study. Prof David Macdonald, of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit says, â€œThe big carnivores, like the charismatic big cats or wolves, face horrendous problems from direct persecution, over-hunting and habitat loss, but our new study adds another nail to their coffin – the empty larderâ€¦It’s no use having habitat if there’s nothing left to eat in it.â€
Researchers while talking about the causes of dwindling numbers claim that the decline is caused by a plethora of factors including habitat loss, hunting for meat and hide, besides other reasons.