14 Jul '11, 6pm

Loss of big predators disrupts Earth #ecosystem: study (and it's our fault) #oceans #biodiversity #extinction #eco

Large predators like sharks, lions and wolves are on the decline worldwide, a trend that is disrupting the Earth's ecosystem in all kinds of unusual ways, researchers said Thursday. "These predators and processes ultimately protect humans. This isn't just about them, it's about us," said William Ripple, a professor of forestry at Oregon State University and co-author of the report in the journal Science. The planet is currently in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, said the study by scientists from 22 different institutions in six countries. But this one differs from previous ones because it is entirely driven by human activity -- through changes in land use, climate, pollution, hunting, fishing and poaching -- and is focused on large, or apex, predators. "The loss of apex consumers is arguably humankind's most pervasive influence on the natural world," said the study...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/loss-big-predators-disrupts-eart...

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