Thu, May 25, 2017 | updated 01:02 AM IST

Immediate actions needed to save big mammals on Earth

Updated: Aug 06, 2016 15:27 IST      
Immediate actions needed to save big mammals on Earth

Washington D.C, Aug 6 (ANI): If gorillas, rhinoceroses, elephants, lions, tigers, wolves, bears and the world's other largest mammals are to be saved, then steps must be taken now, suggests a team of wildlife experts.

In the article, 43 experts wrote that without immediate changes, many of the Earth's most iconic species will be lost.

"The loss of these magnificent animals would be a tremendous tragedy," said co-author Blaire Van Valkenburgh of UCLA. "They are all that is left of a once much more diverse megafauna that populated the planet only 12,000 years ago. And more importantly, we have only just begun to understand the important roles they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems."

Among the most serious threats to endangered animals are illegal hunting, deforestation, habitat loss, expansion of livestock and agriculture into wildlife areas, and human population growth, they write.

The scientists, who represent six continents, write that humans have "an abiding moral obligation to protect the Earth's megafauna," or large mammals. "We must not go quietly into this impoverished future."

In addition to their significance to ecosystems, animals such as tigers and elephants attract tourists and their money to parts of the world that have few alternative sources of income, said Van Valkenburgh.

"This paper is a call for action at all levels, local to global, to halt the rapid decline of the megafauna," she said.

The paper reports that 59 percent of the largest carnivores and 60 percent of the largest herbivores have been classified as threatened with extinction, and that the situation is especially severe in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where the greatest diversity of extant megafauna live.

Lead author William Ripple said that the animals' declines are occurring rapidly.

"The more I look at the trends facing the world's largest terrestrial mammals, the more concerned I am we could lose these animals just as science is discovering how important they are to ecosystems and to the services they provide to people," he said.

The scientists call for comprehensive action, including expanding habitats for the animals and changing conservation policy. The paper notes that some conservation initiatives have been successful and that, if measures are taken now, it may still be possible to rescue these animals from extinction.

The study appears in the journal BioScience. (ANI)

DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Most arrests in sexual assault cases occur before crime laboratory results are available, a new study found, suggesting that DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of cases.

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Your eyes can reveal if you have the post-disaster blues

Updated: May 24, 2017 16:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Turns out, your eyes really are the windows to your soul as a recent study has found that depression risk following a natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation.

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Size of whale has evolved in the recent past!

Updated: May 24, 2017 11:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Interestingly, blue whales, the largest vertebrate animal that ever lived, have recently evolved into giants.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): A team of researchers discovered that deep portions of earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

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Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

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Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

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Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

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Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

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Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

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'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

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Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

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New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

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Updated: May 10, 2017 19:56 IST     

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Scientists track brain developments of newborn babies

Updated: May 10, 2017 15:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Researchers can now easily study how the human brain develops as scientists have published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains.

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Device to check ripeness of tomatoes?

Updated: May 10, 2017 12:30 IST     

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Secret behind stealthy solar storms revealed

Updated: May 09, 2017 09:41 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 9 (ANI): While mostly massive solar storms are often preceded by some kind of warning, sometimes mysterious slower-moving 'stealth' storms appear seemingly out of nowhere, leaving scientists baffled.

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