Sunday, August 7, 2016

One reason the world's top predators are declining: less for them to eat

Yes, I'm hungry

I wanted to bring this article to the attention of the readers of this blog, who though they be few in number are obviously great judges of character and content because they put up with me.  (Or perhaps they just like the supermodel posts.)

But this one was eye-opening, and though it makes sense, it wasn't something I'd thought about before.   In the oceans, the top predators are being overfished.  They aren't declining primarily due to lack of prey species (even though some of those species are being overfished too).

But this National Geographic article describes that lack of prey for top predators on land is indeed one of the primary reasons for the decline of these famed charismatic species:  the lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, leopards, wolverines, bears, etc.

The World’s Top Predators Are Dining From Dwindling Menus

A good paragraph to extract:

"Their results show that for many carnivores, it’s not enough to just focus on hunting, poaching, and other direct threats to their lives. Conservationists will need to turn their attentions to measures that protect both the predators and a large number of their prey. “It’s a simple concept but it just hasn’t had the same level of emphasis,” adds Ripple. “We found that just 7 percent of prey ranges overlapped with protected areas.” Expanding and strengthening those areas will ensure that the world’s top carnivores have enough flesh to eat."

No comments: