Large Carnivore Depletion Affects Environment Around Them
Scientists are finding that as large predators become more scarce that it affects the interplay of animals and plants around them. Studies from Oregon State University have shown that as large predators, like cougars and wolves, dwindle, that whatever they prey on multiplies and begins to eat more of the vegetation around them. Ecologists call this ripple down the food chain a trophic cascade--trophic being used to define any level in nature's food chain. Even streams are affected as vegetation is depleted around water causing greater erosion along banks. However, protecting these carnivores that have many benefits on the environment around them is proving difficult as many, like the wolf, prey on livestock. Scientists are calling for a global Large Carnivore Initiative to find solutions to these questions and more.
By Jordan Moses
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