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Loss of large carnivores hurts ecosystems: study

Published on Jan 10, 2014 11:40 PM
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Four-year-old white lion Semuel (right) and five-year-old Cleopatra are seen at the zoo in Tbilisi on Dec 16, 2013. The gradual decline of large carnivores such as lions, wolves or pumas is threatening the Earth's ecosystems, scientists warned on Jan 10, 2014, as they launched an appeal to protect such predators. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The gradual decline of large carnivores such as lions, wolves or pumas is threatening the Earth's ecosystems, scientists warned on Friday as they launched an appeal to protect such predators.

More than 75 per cent of 31 large carnivore species are on the decline, and 17 of them now occupy less than half of their former ranges, says a study published in the American journal Science and dated Jan 10.

Large carnivores have already been largely exterminated from much of the developed world including western Europe and the United States.

And this hunt is happening around the world, the scientists said, bemoaning that the animals play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems.

 
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