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Conservation causes large predators to appear in unexpected locations, according to new research



The article suggests that alligators, sea otters and other predators repopulate the ecosystems in which they were once hunted and killed by humans.

It is a common story in many disaster films, but it seems that the phenomenon of large predatory fish that are spotted in places far from their natural habitat is becoming more common than ever before as a result of conservation efforts. But unlike these films, where predators appear on beaches and other unexpected places and attack humans, this real trend is actually a good thing for animals and humans, according to a new study.

In a meta-analysis published Monday in the journal Current Biology a team of researchers found that several large predators, including alligators, mountain lions and sea otters, were re-colonizing the ecosystems that were once targeted by humans instead of finding new habitats to make their home. According to lead author Brian Silliman, an associate professor of marine biology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, this is an increasing trend in which it is no longer uncommon for reefs to appear in unusual locations such as beaches and coral reefs.

"It is not an outlier or short-term blip, it is the old norm as it was before we pushed these species into hard-to-reach shelters on their last legs, and now they are returning."

As of Science Daily emphasizes that the meta-analysis conducted by Silliman and his fellow researchers mainly involved the "synthesis" of past data from previous scientific studies and government reports. After analyzing the numbers and isolating the similarities in these earlier findings, the team concluded that conservation initiatives have led to more frequent "new" alligators, sea otters, river eagles, gray wolves, mountain lions, orangutans, and other large carnivores. Habitats occur in contrast to conventional ones.

Based on his meta-analysis, Silliman said that the return of these predators to areas where their populations once sank heavily by human hunting activities or habitats that were once considered "taboo" contradicts a time-tested animal ecology principle ̵

1; that Choose animals for their "habitat specialization" where they are at home. He cites several examples of how this principle works, including alligators who opt for swamps or orangutans favoring "undisturbed" forest and marine mammals who call the polar waters their home.

"However, this is based on studies and observations made so far" These populations have been declining sharply, "Silliman continued.

" Now that they are recovering, they surprise us by demonstrating how adaptable and cosmopolitan they really are. "

According to researchers, Sea Otter Mouthguard protect seagrass beds in a way that could save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

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All in all, Silliman believes that the trend for large carnivores to emerge where they would least be expected is beneficial to both humans and animals


Daily Mail . Sea otters, referred to several times in the meta-analysis, feed on Dungeness crabs, a species known to eat too many sea slugs, which protect Inverted Seagrass Meadows from overgrowth by epiphytic algae. Silliman said initiatives to protect such seagrass beds would normally cost "tens of millions of dollars", meaning that sea-otter taxpayers save a ton of money by protecting the beds in their own unique way.


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