How the reintroduction of 20 mammal species will change the future of the planet

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Some variety animals have a greater influence than others onecosystem which they occupy. These are “keystone species”, species that ensure the ecological balance of their environment and whose protection or reintroduction allows restore degraded natural areas. Among these key species, we obviously find pollinators such as beesbut also earthworms or even stars seas. But some of the biggest mammals terrestrial are also included in its composition.

Resurgence of large carnivores and herbivores restores biodiversity

Organization Research Resolve and UN Environment (UNEP) Highlights light the fact that the reintroduction of some large, sometimes unloved mammals would have a significant impact on the global recovery biodiversity our planet. Study published in the journal Ecographyidentifies 7 predators and 13 herbivores important for the ecological balance of various regions of the globe:

  • In Europe reintroduction european bisoneurasian beaver, reindeerthe wolf and lynx will restore historic large mammal populations in 35 ecoregions.
  • In Asia, the reintroduction of wild horses and wolves into the Himalayas would increase the number of large mammals in the region by 89%.
  • In Africa reintroduction of hippos, cheetahsfromantelopes ceseb municipalities, lycaons and from lions can more than double biodiversity.
  • In North America, targeted reintroduction or improved protection black bears american, american bison and voracious will have a major impact on wild nature and flora.
  • In South America reintroduction jaguarpacarana, pampas deer, swamp deer and the white-lipped peccary “restores” hundreds of thousands of square kilometers.

Effects on vegetation and carbon sequestration

According to Unep, only 15% of the earth’s landmass is currently occupied by large mammals. The reintroduction of these key species in certain and suitable areas could restore the biodiversity of 1/4 of the planet through their action on food chain.

A striking example of recent years is wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park in the US in the 1990s: predators, among other things, allowed rivers and grasslands to regenerate because they keep herbivores like deer constantly moving. Vegetation has been able to renew itself and diversify even further, allowing many endangered species such as beavers to thrive. In its turn, beaver action allowed Fish rivers to breed more, and these fish could then feed other species.

We now know that, at the climatic level, greater plant and animal biodiversity allows absorb more carbon dioxide in the ground it greenhouse gas who is one of the main culprits global warming. Just like oceans and forests and grasslands are real carbon sinkand the greater the variety of plants, the morecarbon uptake by plants, to the ground. Thus, the reintroduction of large mammals allows not only to restore the entire cycle of biodiversity, but also to take part in mitigating the effects of global warming.

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