A recent report authored by several leading conservation biologists warns that unless we enact new, sweeping conservation measures around the world, the planet’s biggest land animals could become extinct by the end of the current century. According to an article on the website Live Science, some of the animals at risk include certain species of gorilla, tiger, and rhinoceros.
These large animals—called “megafauna”—are under threat from a variety of dangers, especially poaching and the spreading of human settlements into formerly wild areas. Experts predict that at current rates of decline, roughly 60% of the world’s largest carnivore and herbivore species could go extinct by 2100. The most critically threatened areas are sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
What can we do to protect these beautiful creatures? The conservationists outlined several common sense steps in their paper. They include encouraging both governmental and non-governmental agencies to ban the practices that put these animal at risk, and persuading local populations to see the economic value of preserving these species, such as with the ecotourism industry.
Interested in learning more? You can read the full report, “Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna,” in the journal BioScience HERE.
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