There are a lot of varieties of wildlife that are declining rapidly, which is raising the risk of an empty landscape, according to scientists. Scientists say that nearly 60 percent of herbivores are at risk of extinction, which are plant-eaters like elephants and rhinos.
According to a study published in Science Advances, poaching and habitat loss has impacted 74 different herbivore species. There have also been previous studies that have shown similar types of declines, but this was the first study to look at all of the species as a whole group. The research showed that the decline is partially due to competition for the food and resources with the livestock, but hunting animals for body parts and meat, and also habitat loss are all contributing factors.
The grasslands, deserts, forests, and savannah have all become less inhabited by animals due to the decline, and hunting has also impacted animals like the wolves. While the decline of wildlife is a huge problem itself, there is also a huge problem of having a bunch of land with no animals in it. Rhinoceros are expected to become extinct within 20 years in Africa due to how the horns being worth more than diamonds and gold. The fact of the matter is, there is more than just hunting and poaching going on in the wildlife kingdom, and without intervention, these animals will all become extinct in many regions beyond Africa.
There are a lot of consequences that could happen as a result of the decline in herbivores, including loss of habitat, since animals help clear out the vegetation to maintain the land. The food chain will also become interrupted as large animals rely on the large herbivores for food. There is also the fact that animals carry seeds with them when they travel, so the seeds are not being dispersed how they should be. There is also an impact on humans because over one billion people rely on the meat from the wild animals for survival, and the loss of these creatures also means less tourism in places like Africa. North America and Europe both lost most of their herbivores due to extinction, which doesn’t leave many places left for these animals.