No room to swing a (big) cat?

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Habitats suitable for large carnivore species around the world are disappearing fast, and booming human populations and agriculture are the main culprits, according to a US scientist. He used spatial modelling to chart the greatest losses of carnivore habitats, which have occurred in Southeastern Asia and Africa, and red wolves, Ethiopian wolves, tigers, and lions are the worst affected, he says. Intact carnivore habitats are now just 34 per cent of the world's land area, compared to 96 per cent historically. The findings should help focus conservation efforts, adds the researcher.

Journal/conference: Royal Society Open Science

Organisation/s: Oregon State University, USA

Media Release

From: The Royal Society

Range Contractions of the World’s Large Carnivores

The majority of the world’s terrestrial large carnivores have undergone substantial range contractions. We analyze a newly constructed, comprehensive set of large carnivore range contraction maps. Large carnivores that have experienced the greatest range contractions include the red wolf (Canis rufus) (> 99%), Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) (99%), and tiger (Panthera tigris) (95%). Contractions were more likely in regions with high rural human population density, cattle density, or cropland. Our results offer new insights into how best to prevent further range contractions for the world’s largest carnivores, which will assist efforts to conserve these species and their important ecological effects.


News for: