Friday, January 10, 2014

Loss of predators endangered ecosystem - Vorarlberg News

According to WWF, the African lion is one of the losers of the year 2013. Thus, currently living about 32,000 animals in the wild.

Washington. The decline of large predators has far greater impact on ecosystems than previously known. The loss of these animals endangered species richness of birds, mammals and invertebrates and also have consequences for vegetation, agriculture, and even climate change. This was reported by an international research team in the journal “Science”. To prevent the extinction of large predators and the associated consequences, scientists encourage a global initiative for the protection of animals at.


widely felt

61 percent of the 31 biggest predators are listed as endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species, the researchers write to William Ripple from Oregon State University. The populations of 75 percent of these species as well as their habitats shrank. In order to grasp the situation more concrete, the researchers focused on seven major predators: lion, Dingo, puma, leopard, lynx, wolves and otters. They identified how the disappearance of the animals affects their respective ecosystems. Mostly, the consequences widely seen and felt. So were in West Africa with the decline of lions and leopards the stocks of olive baboons greatly increased. Then shrink the populations of small cloven and primates, which are eaten by baboons. In addition, endangered baboon hordes farm animals and fell upon on crops. In the waters of Southeast Alaska, the decline of sea otters led to a sharp increase in the number of sea urchins, which then grazed kelp forests. The like let to observe the disappearance of wolves in many parts of the globe: the number of elk and other deer that eat many plants, increases as a result of. The retreat of the vegetation in turn affects birds or small mammals in the ecosystem.

At least in some cases the changes are reversible, the researchers report. In Yellowstone National Park, some areas have recovered quickly after the reintroduction of wolves. “I am impressed with how resilient the Yellowstone ecosystem,” said Ripple.

addition to climate change is the disappearance of large predators one of the major influences of man on nature – but without finding comparable public attention. Therefore, the researchers propose a global initiative for the protection of animals. One goal was to win acceptance and tolerance of people for the large predators. “We say that these animals have to live right, but they also have an economic and ecological value that people appreciate,” said Ripple. Only the Yellowstone National Park bring the wolf tourism each year 22 to 48 million U.S. dollars, say the scientists.

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