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Sat, Feb

Fanged Friends: Study Says the World's Most Vilified and Dangerous Animals May be Humankind's Best Ally

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An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate – spelling bad news for humans who indirectly rely on them for a variety of beneficial services.

An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate – spelling bad news for humans who indirectly rely on them for a variety of beneficial services.

Christopher O’Bryan, the lead author based at UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences said the study revealed examples where native predators, ranging from leopards and bats to scavengers such as vultures, provide critical services including disease regulation, agricultural productivity, and waste-disposal.

“While predators and scavengers are a large source of conflict, such as big cats in Africa and Asia or dingoes in Australia, there are many examples where they may provide benefits to humans,” O’Bryan said. “Our paper identifies studies that have shown these benefits across a broad spectrum, from mountain lions reducing deer-vehicle collisions and bats saving corn farmers billions per year by reducing crop pests, to vultures savings millions in livestock carcass removal.”

The researchers conducted an extensive literature search for recent studies that reveal benefits and discussed the importance of evaluating both the positives and negatives of these species to human well-being.

Read more at Wildlife Conservation Society

Image: Vultures save millions in livestock carcass removal. (Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WCS)