1 Tahrcountry Musings: Cascading effects of loss of large mammals

Friday, May 09, 2014

Cascading effects of loss of large mammals

A study by Scientists from Bard College and the University of California, Davis, has come up with the finding that the loss of large mammals has cryptic consequences for African savannas and the people and animals that depend on them.
The scientists experimentally removed large grazing mammals from plots of savanna land in Kenya. The results were very disturbing. Populations of a small mammal, the pouched mouse, doubled. The mice attracted venomous snakes like the olive hissing snake. It also caused extensive damage to tree seedlings.  The flea and tick populations exponentially increased which in turn potentially increased the risk of transmission of flea- and tick-borne pathogens.
Details of the study appears in the latest issue of journal Bioscience

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