There are many lessons we need to learn as a species, and, to do so, at least one thing we have to shelve is our arrogant assumption that our perceived needs trump those of all other life forms. Let’s hope we are wising up in time about the one the Guardian has flagged up at least. Below is an extract: for the full post see link.
A plea to restore populations of some of the world’s most dangerous animals has been made by scientists who claim the loss of large carnivores is damaging ecosystems.
More than three-quarters of the 31 species of large land predators, such as lions and wolves, are in decline, according to a new study. Of these, 17 species are now restricted to less than half the territory they once occupied.
Large carnivores have already been exterminated in many developed regions, including western Europe and eastern United States – and the same pattern of “carnivore cleansing” is being repeated throughout the world, said scientists.
Yet evidence suggests carnivores play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems which cannot be replaced by humans hunting the animals they normally prey on.
“Globally, we are losing our large carnivores,” said lead researcher Prof William Ripple, from the department of forest ecosystems and society at Oregon State University in the US.
“Many of them are endangered. Their ranges are collapsing. Many of these animals are at risk of extinction, either locally or globally. And, ironically, they are vanishing just as we are learning about their important ecological effects.”