Fire Earth

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Archive for the ‘habitat destruction’ Category

Species Extinction

Posted by feww on December 29, 2007

Human activity has caused a sharp decline in the number of large mammals on about 80% of Earth’s terrestrial surface!

“By examining records dating back to AD1500, US researchers found that at least 35% of mammals over 20kg had seen their range cut by more than half. ”

gray-wolf.jpg
Chris Muiden at the Dutch language Wikipedia, the copyright holder of this work, has published this photo under the GNU Free Documentation License“.

The researchers state: “Large carnivores frequently shape the number, distribution and behavior of their prey… Large herbivores function as ecological engineers by changing the structure and species composition of surrounding vegetation.

“Furthermore, both sets of mammals profoundly influence the environment beyond direct species interactions, such as through [the food chain.]”

The “habitat generalists” including tigers, leopards, lions, American bison, elk and wolves suffered the greatest losses.

Full story…

Posted in American bison, elk, habitat destruction, habitat generalists, leopards, lions, mammals, Species Extinction, tigers, wolves | Leave a Comment »