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Rats and pigeons replace iconic species



  Nepali children feed pigeons on Durbar Square in Kathmandu

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Children feed pigeons in Kathmandu

The conversion of land for agriculture and the construction of cities favors the same way everywhere, according to a new study.

Animals such as rats and pigeons adopt less common species, which can only survive in certain habitats.

The researchers studied 20,000 animals and plants in 81

countries.

They found that species that cover a large area tend to grow in places where people use the land.

However, fauna and flora that occupy a small area are lost.

"We show around the world that as humans change habitats, these unique species are constantly being replaced by species that are found everywhere, such as pigeons in urban areas and rats in farmland," Dr. Tim Newbold, research associate at University College London.

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The way people use land benefits the same plants and animals

The co-researcher Prof. Andy Purvis of the Natural History Museum, London, compared the changes in biodiversity with the events on the British main street.

"As small independent retailers go out of business, big chains dominate," he said.

"It makes all cities look the same, and it's less easy to tell where you are, and people are affecting nature wherever they go, and there are localized species everywhere that are difficult to sustain themselves. "

The results are important for conservation efforts. Plants and animals that only live on small tracts of land are already threatened with extinction as species that have adapted to life around the world.

Previous research has shown that animals and plants that occupy small areas also have certain and important roles within the lifecycle and may be crucial to our food security.

The study is published in PLOS Biology.

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