New Delhi: Why are all the animals disappearing? No, climate change is not the only culprit, it's us humans too. The world has taken role reversal a bit too seriously, it seems, exchanging them with animals.
According to scientists, mankind is on an animal-consuming spree which is making them vulnerable to extinction. How? Poaching, hunting, wildlife trade and trapping them for meat, ornaments, medicines and pets.
Scientists are declaring this a global crisis, because due to these unethical practices, nearly 300 different species of animals – from monkeys to bats – are under threat.
The study conducted by experts at the Oregon State University in the US has issued a warning, saying that this decline in animal population is drastically affecting the environment, as well as undermining food security of millions of people in Asia, Africa and South America.
As per the Independent, study leader Professor William Ripple said that “Our goal is to raise awareness of this global crisis. Many of these animals are at the brink of extinction. The illegal smuggling in wildlife and wildlife products is run by dangerous international networks and ranks among trafficking in arms, human beings and drugs in terms of profits.”
“Our analysis is conservative. These 301 species are the worst cases of declining mammal populations for which hunting and trapping are clearly identified as a major threat. If data for a species was missing or inconclusive, we didn't include it.”
The authors of the study came to this conclusion after studying data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, wherein, they found both small and large animals to be at risk.
The report in the independent also mentioned that, the loss of large mammals could result in population explosions of prey animals, greater risk of disease and economic impact on humans, according to scientists.
The study found that 57 large species of even-toed ungulates, including hippopotamus, wild yak, camel and marsh deer, were threatened by hunting.
Smaller mammals were said to play crucial roles in dispersing seeds, pollinating plants and controlling insects.
Wild ox, camels, pigs, fruit bats, rhinoceroses, tapirs, deer, tree kangaroos, armadillos, pangolins, rodents and big cats, were all said to be affected, the Independent reported.