Rapid loss of top predators ‘a major environmental threat’

Top Predators and Population Regulation

Dingo for noncommercial usse“Scientists warn that removal from ecosystem of large carnivores like the dingo could be as detrimental as climate change Dingoes keep kangaroo and fox numbers down, which means less overgrazing and more small native animals.

“A study by researchers from Australia, the US and Europe found that removing large carnivores, which has happened worldwide in the past 200 years, causes a raft of harmful reactions to cascade through food chains and landscapes.  Small animals are picked off by feral pests, land is denuded of vegetation as herbivore numbers increase and streams and rivers are even diverted as a result of this loss of carnivores, the ecologists found.  “There is now a substantial body of research demonstrating that, alongside climate change, eliminating large carnivores is one of the most significant anthropogenic impacts on nature,” the study states.”  Source: 4thenaturesake.wordpress.com

GR:  Recent stories about predator recovery in Europe point out that going into the woods is becoming dangerous.  Just a few centuries ago we knew how to guard against large predators, but we gradually eradicated them and lost our cautious habits.  I expect that eradication will be our response to the tiniest losses to predators.

Our population continues to grow and destroy the habitats and prey required by lions and tigers and bears.  Eradication won’t require killing, it will simply occur as we remove habitat.  For top predators to survive, we must reverse human population growth and resource use.

I don’t think the much-needed regulator of human population growth will be large carnivores.  Microbes perhaps, but not bears and tigers.  We need to use our brains.  There are population control programs in the world today.  They aren’t talked about very much, but we need them to be.  We need them to become popular.  My challenge is to assemble information on current programs and post on this website.  If you have suggestions, please add them in a comment.  Thank you.

Sharks are Ecosystem Regulators

“Everyone loves a movie with a good villain. Unfortunately, when a type of wildlife is cast in that role, it can lead to real-world challenges.  The fact is, Sharks Play An Important Role in Our Ecosystem.

“As predators at the top of the food chain, sharks serve a critically important purpose. Just like top predators on land, sharks regulate the populations of the species they feed on, helping to keep the ecosystem balanced and able to support a wide variety of life. A drastic decline in sharks could lead to a cascading effect throughout the ocean ecosystem, from coral reefs to the fish species on which many economies depend.”

Read more: www.defendersblog.org

GR:  For sport and from fear, we have hunted wolves, lions, tigers, and many other predators almost to extinction. Humans are smart, but not smart enough to care about the consequences of their actions. Perhaps in time a species will evolve that naturally accepts responsibility for what it does. That species will follow Immediacy the philosophy of consequences, and will study its surroundings so that it can understand and foresee what its actions will produce. Doesn’t seem like we’re the one.