If the results of a recent study conducted by wildlife experts at Oregon State University is correct, large herbivores are on the verge of extinction all over the world. The study of 74 different kinds of plant eaters showed that there has been a very large reduction in large plant eaters, especially in Africa and Asia, where the majority of them travel and reside.
Professor William Ripple, the lead author of the study, announced that results point to as much as 60 percent of the large herbivores that weight over 220lbs are dying off due to things like habitat loss, climate change, over hunting, poaching, and global warming issues.
Verge of Extinction Will Cause Food Shortage for Carnivores
The fact that the large herbivores like the zebra, tapirs, elephants, rhinos, camels and more of these plant eating species are on the verge of extinction no matter where they travel or reside will also eventually lead to the extinction of large carnivores like the lions, tigers, leopards, etc., from a lack of an adequate food supply.
This in turn causes problems for man living in the areas as well, because the large carnivores travel into human spaces and hunt and kill the livestock like the chickens, cattle, etc., or even at times kill humans as well.
Loss of Habitat One Reason for Verge of Extinction
The study, which was printed in the Science Advances journal (advances.sciencemag.org), also mentioned that the verge of extinction is largely due to the disappearing landscape of the grasslands the animals thrived on.
In fact, in the North American continent, this fact, plus the over hunting and poaching of them, is what partly was responsible for the bison being on the verge of extinction before mankind stepped in and revived their population. However, they have never returned to their previous numbers, when hundreds of thousands of them used to travel the grasslands of the US.
In other species, 25 of the largest of the Earth’s plant eating animals now only travel in a range of less than 20 percent of their former territories, making habitat loss and human hunting the two biggest reasons they are on the verge of extinction.
Animal Loss Has Other Repercussions
The loss of the plant eaters will not just affect the carnivores, but without species like birds to disperse seeds, or other animals to do similar functions, the world’s plant life could also suffer, which is a downward trend that could lead to devastation on the planet.
Already, in 2011, black rhinos were declared extinct in Africa, and if something is not done to stop this trend, many more of the large herbivores on the Earth will not just be on the verge of extinction, but will disappear from the Earth forevermore.