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Super-predators… are missing

The elimination of large predators by hunting and deliberate killing turns the niche for smaller predators that are very difficult for farmers and shepherds to deal with

The cover of the journal CURRENT BIOLOGY and on it the reference to the article about tigers
The cover of the journal CURRENT BIOLOGY and on it the reference to the article about tigers

How does the release of super-predators affect the environmental system? In a study conducted by Prof. William Ripple from the University of Oregon
William Ripple - Oregon State University, and published in "Bioscience", the damage caused to the economy and the environment following the release of super-carnivores became clear.

The removal of super-carnivores, by hunters, or due to the disappearance of habitats causes the proliferation of small predators and these cause damage to the natural environment, agriculture and settlements. Supercarnivores are the largest and most powerful of predators: wolves and cougars in North America, lions and tigers in Africa, jaguars in South America, tigers and tigers in Asia, killer whales and large sharks. All of these are considered super-carnivores.

The researchers examined areas where the top predators were removed from the natural system and saw that their place was filled by "intermediate" predators (small predators). Coyotes bred in North America due to wolf hunting: causing damage to flocks of sheep as well as agricultural crops.

Baboons (in Africa) that multiply due to the killing of lions and tigers, invade agricultural areas and cause damage as well as intruding into settlements and houses to the extent of scaring children and women, jackals prey on sheep, and chickens and spread rabies! In Asia, in areas where tigers and tigers have been exterminated, jackals breed that cause similar damage. The damages of the small predators are duplicated because they are omnivorous, meaning their damage to the livestock in fruits and vegetables and also in agricultural equipment.

According to the researchers, in the last 200 years, the population of the top carnivores has decreased to the point of extinction, the extinction that allowed a 60% increase in the populations of the small predators. A growth whose negative impact on the economy exceeds its damage to the natural environment.

Around the world, super carnivore populations are decreasing to the point of extinction, usually as a result of intentional activity: hunting, fishing, activity that until now was considered "positive", for example killing lions to prevent cattle predation. or killing sharks to avoid harming swimmers.

For the farmers who removed lions or wolves from their environment, it turned out that the small predators that "filled their place" cause much greater damage, what is more, that the small predators are more difficult and expensive to remove/hunt, that is, by removing a natural factor that caused minor damage, the ranchers received large damage factors that are difficult to deal with And more expensive to deal with.

In our immediate surroundings: the killing of wolves in the Golan mainly by direct and secondary poisoning led to the proliferation of jackals that cause damage to agricultural crops and the explosion of the deer population, what did the removal of tigers from the Judean Desert cause...?

It turns out that the damage caused by the super predators is dwarfed by the damage caused by the small predators that multiply when there are no big competitors. The issue is not simple, but the solution to the fear of super predators is not by removing them from the equation!

Farmers in North America who removed wolves from their environment received "in return" packs of coyotes that cause great damage, the attempts to control them cost hundreds of millions. The problem also appears these days, in areas where sharks have been removed from the natural system, species of barnacles multiply that cause damage to oyster crops and crops.

The researchers write that: "The economic damages of small predators will rise as there are fewer super-predators in the area, the small predators live in great density and their resistance to attempts to prevent their harm is increasing."

"Super-predators are beneficial to populations killed by the suppression of small predators, failure to consider the process resulted in a general collapse of systems." "The effect of population explosions of small predators has been documented in: birds, sea turtles, lizards, rodents, marsupials, rabbits, fish, oysters, insects and ungulates".

The economic cost of trying to control small predators is very high and can usually be reduced by returning the super predators to the system." - "Human intervention does not fulfill the role of top predator because of the fear of a predator,
Fear that dictates human behavior, behavior that dictates the behavior of small predators."
"Preventing the spread of small carnivores becomes more difficult and more expensive as the top carnivores disappear."

The obvious conclusion is that: the super carnivore population must be preserved and maintained in nature as an important part of the environmental system, a part whose lack causes damages that cannot be compared with any advantage.

already said
It's time to:
Instead of controlling the environment for the sake of the human population,
There will be control over the human population for the sake of the environment!

Asaf

4 תגובות

  1. If possible, remove the reading marks from the article. Writing with exclamation marks makes it very difficult to read.

  2. It's only a matter of time before they find a way to treat each of the small predators
    The super predators are too spoiled animals to live near humans, unfortunately we will probably see all the super predators disappear in our lifetime

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