Earth’s herbivores are disappearing, according to a new study. It revealed that specifically, the Earth is becoming a less suitable place for large herbivores that have been common throughout its history. That’s a bad sign for a climate change discussion that seems to be focusing more recently on the disappearing life forms from this planet, rather than the things that are being done to actually change the course Earth appears to be set on, as it continues to heat up.
However, the study points out that the problems aren’t just that of reduction of habitat due to climate change. Rather, the study pointed out just how much impact humans can have on these animals in other ways. Those most directly impacted were large herbivores, which are regularly the target of poaching and hunting.
The authors of the study worked on focusing on a series of species. Specifically, they looked at 74 large herbivore species, and found that they were all at risk for declining over the course of the next several years. However, they found that they already had started declining in recent years. The study pointed out that, “without radical intervention, large herbivores (and many smaller ones) will continue to disappear from numerous regions with enormous ecological, social, and economic costs.”
However, William Ripple of Oregon State University pointed out that, “Surprisingly, the results show that the two main factors in herbivore declines are hunting by humans and habitat change. They are twin threats.” This reveals the major problem that animals around the world are facing. It really just comes down to a change that animals can’t cope with because of the habitat change that is occurring throughout the process. This is just the latest in issues that have been raised regarding the population of animals. It was just recently that a study revealed how one in six species on Earth could disappear thanks to the changing climate. The problems are real, and they need to be addressed.