Human desire for meat threatens the survival of hundreds of large animals

According to media reports, some of the world’s largest animals are facing the danger of extinction, because humans’ desire for meat cannot be suppressed. A new study has found that the number of at least 200 large organisms on the planet has fallen dramatically, with more than 150 of them being completely extinct.

According to the researchers, 70% of the members of the megafauna are dying, while 59% are at risk of extinction. William Ripple of the study’s communications author, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, said: “Our results show that we are eating extinct megafauna.”

In the past 250 years, nine species of giant animals have been extinct (including extinction in the wild). These include two giant tortoises (one of which was extinct in 2012) and two deer. Species currently threatened with extinction include Chinese giant salamander (scientific name: Andrias davidianus). This is a large amphibian living in fresh water that grows to 1.8 meters and is one of the only three amphibians in the world dating back 170 million years. Chinese giant salamanders are currently threatened by hunting, habitat destruction and pollution, and experts predict that they will soon be extinct in the wild.

“It will become more and more difficult and complicated to protect the remaining giant animals,” said Professor Ripple. “We will encounter economic arguments and face obstacles in both culture and society. But if we don’t think and criticize And to adjust our behaviour, our powerful hunting ability may consume most of the last giant animals on the planet.”

Mammals and fish weighing more than 100 kilograms, as well as amphibians, birds and reptiles weighing more than 40 kilograms are considered giant animals. Larger animals tend to live longer and have a longer gestation period, and they reach sexual maturity and depend on previous generations for longer. This slows the rate at which megafaunas multiply, and their alternate generations often span decades, rather than days as some insects do.

Longer generational alternation times allow megafauna to adapt to the environment through evolution, thus avoiding the process of extinction becoming slow and difficult. In the past 500 years, the ability of humans to kill giant animals within a safe distance has become more and more perfect, and 2% of the giant animals just happened to be extinct during this time.

The study, published in the recent Journal of Conservation Letters, analyzes nearly 300 species of giant animals, including elephants, giraffes, whales, cows, deer, and tigers.

“ In large species with threatened data, direct access to animal meat or body parts for human consumption is the greatest threat to almost all species, ” Professor Ripple said. “So, minimize the direct killing of these vertebrates. An important conservation strategy that may save many iconic species while also protecting their contribution to their ecosystem.”

Historically, humans and other close relatives have selectively killed many of the largest mammals.

Article Sources:

https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/direct-killing-humans-pushing-earth%E2%80%99s-biggest-fauna-toward-extinction

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190206101055.htm

https://tech.sina.com.cn/d/a/2019-03-05/doc-ihrfqzkc1247174.shtml

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