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African elephants and the environment

Photo credit: Nature World News

African elephants are significantly reducing Kruger National Park’s tree density. (Photo : Flickr: alecdphotography)

Elephants Are Knocking Down Too Many Trees In Kruger National Park, Researchers Say

By Samantha Mathewson

African elephants are knocking down trees left and right in Kruger National Park, the largest protected area in South Africa, and a new study revealed that tree-fall rates in the park are all about elephant density there, which is growing. These large animals are the leading cause behind the area’s changing ecology and shifting landscapes, because elephants routinely eat plants, tree bark, and other parts of trees.

“National parks and nature preserves will serve as biodiversity arks as we move into the future,” Greg Asner, of Carnegie’s Institution for Science, said in a news release. “But to manage them properly, conservationists will need to maintain the functionality of the ecosystem as a whole, which will require an understanding of system-wide responses to changing animal populations.”

Read the full article: Nature World News 

 

 

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.