Megafauna extinctions produce idiosyncratic Anthropocene assemblages
© Patchareeporn Sakoolchai/Moment/Getty Images
Some large animals can thrive in close proximity to humans — provided poaching is controlled.
The world is undergoing a biodiversity crisis, mostly due to human activities. Larger vertebrates are particularly hard hit because they are often the target of poaching.
Now, a team led by researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia has investigated five species of large carnivores and nine species of megaherbivores in ten tropical forests in Southeast Asia.
Out of the ten species that had sufficient detections, six followed global trends of declining numbers with shrinking habitat and increasing proximity to people. But interestingly, four species — the wild boar, clouded leopard, Asian elephant and tiger — bucked that trend, having higher numbers near people.
While the overall picture is complex, the results offer hope that it may be possible for megafauna to co-exist with people with sufficient control of poaching.
- Science Advances 8, eabq2307 (2022). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abq2307
|The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia||0.75|
|University of East Anglia (UEA), United Kingdom (UK)||0.25|