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Human conflict kills wildlife as well

Cara J

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The toll of war isn’t limited to human casualties. Biologists recently found that since the mid-20th century, as conflict has become more common across Africa, mammal populations in turbulent areas have rapidly deteriorated, requiring greater conservation efforts in wildlife parks and neighboring communities. “War had a consistently negative impact on wildlife in Africa,” said Joshua Daskin, first author on the study published in Nature. “The more the conflict, the quicker the decrease in population density.” In 2013, Daskin, then a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, and his advisor Robert Pringle, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, started collecting information on populations of big herbivores throughout African warzones. They pulled 253 population trajectory estimates from scientific papers and government and nonprofit reports published between 1946 and 2010. Focusing on 126 protected areas in 19 countries, they looked at species such as the elephant (Loxodonta spp.), wildebeest (Connochaetes spp.), zebra (Equus spp.), Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus). The researchers examined changing wildlife counts in the context of conflicts using databases from the Peace Research Institute at Oslo and Uppsala Conflict Data Program that noted where and when such events occurred. The results confirmed their suspicions. “As conflict [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/human-conflict-kills-wildlife-as-well/

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