Mon, Jun 26, 2017 | updated 07:32 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)

When disaster strikes, selfless heroism may not be good

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:53 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 24 (ANI): Putting others first can cost lives in life-and-death disaster situations involving groups of people, a new study suggested.

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Now, 'self-folding' origami

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:38 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 24 (ANI): According to a team of researchers, a simple chemical "programming" can induce a single piece of Nafion foil to fold itself using origami and kirigami principles.

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European Union to continue fight against climate change

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 19:50 IST     

Strasbourg [France], June 23 (ANI): The European Council on Thursday reiterated its commitment to fully implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, adding that the agreement remains a keystone in global efforts to effectively tackle climate change, and therefore, cannot be renegotiated.

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Scientists understand the formation of sun's spicules

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 11:58 IST     

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Washington D.C. [USA], June 22 (ANI): Warmer temperatures mean sea turtles could be driven to extinction, suggests a new study.

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Six cups of ground coffee can improve nose, throat surgery

Updated: Jun 21, 2017 08:42 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 21 (ANI): Rejoice coffee lovers! Researchers have recently improved the accuracy of a scanner used to map the skull of nose and throat surgical patients with six cups of ground coffee.

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Spruce budworm outbreak can put forests at fire risk

Updated: Jun 19, 2017 11:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 19 (ANI): Turns out, it is not "a moth to a flame," but "a flame to a moth" as a new study has revealed that a spruce budworm outbreak could increase forest fire risk.

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New 'Phystrology Therapy' may cure high blood pressure

Updated: Jun 16, 2017 10:31 IST     

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Vicious cycle of 'phone snubbing'

Updated: Jun 14, 2017 13:34 IST     

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Personalised molecular therapy slows progression of tumors

Updated: Jun 13, 2017 13:45 IST     

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Steroids may up effectiveness of AAV-based gene therapy

Updated: Jun 11, 2017 13:29 IST     

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Washington D.C. [USA], June 10 (ANI): Those common chemicals that manufacturers use to make plastic food containers, water bottles and other consumer products, instead of BPA, do not contribute to obesity, says a study.

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Male farmers at high risk of contracting 'monkey malaria'

Updated: Jun 10, 2017 10:40 IST     

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Previously unseen teeth in jawbone of Megalosaurus revealed!

Updated: Jun 08, 2017 09:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 8 (ANI): Cutting edge technology sheds fresh light on world's first scientifically-described dinosaur, Megalosaurus, thanks to research by WMG at the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford's Museum of Natural History.

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Certain characteristics linked with ISIS anxiety

Updated: Jun 07, 2017 17:12 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 7 (ANI): A new study has examined the characteristics of individuals who are most likely to have anxiety concerning threats posed by ISIS.

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Kazakhstan, ISRO in JWG pact for space cooperation

Updated: Jun 07, 2017 15:25 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 7 (ANI): A delegation of the Aerospace Committee (Kazkosmos) of the Ministry of Aerospace and Defense Industry of Kazakhstan recently paid a visit to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore, where prospects for cooperation in the field of space between Kazakhstan and India were discussed.

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Washington D.C. [USA], June 7 (ANI): A study of fruit flies shows that the benefits of protective bacteria, which safeguard organisms from further disease without causing harm, depend on how subsequent infections enter the body.

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Cells' 'Hail Mary' mechanism to rescue broken chromosomes

Updated: Jun 05, 2017 13:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 5 (ANI): A recent study has found that the 'Hail Mary' mechanism can rescue the cells with severely damaged chromosomes and insights into this method could lead to new cancer therapies.

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The Great Barrier Reef is in its last stage, claims study

Updated: Jun 03, 2017 16:31 IST     

London [UK], June 3 (ANI): Last summer, the record high temperatures around the Great Barrier Reef led much of the coral getting bleached, overcooked, diseased and dying off.

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