Poaching threatens savannah ecosystems

Feb 12, 2014
Poaching threatens savannah ecosystems
This image shows a white rhinoceros. Credit: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

White rhinoceros may be extinct in twenty years with the current poaching rates. The loss of this megaherbivore is in itself a tragedy, but it may also have tremendous effects on the ecosystems they now live in.

The white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), and other megaherbivores, are key drivers of ecosystem functioning because they´re not controlled by predation.

A new study by Joris Cromsigt and Mariska te Beest, published in Journal of Ecology, highlights the role of the white rhino in the savannah .

Earlier empirical studies on the ecosystem impact of megaherbivores are strongly biased to African elephant with very little contemporary evidence for other megaherbivore species. Cromsigt and te Beest quantifies how rhino recolonized Kruger National Park (KNP) following their re-introduction in the 1960s to create a unique 'recolonization experiment' and tests how this megagrazer is affecting the structure of savanna grasslands.

This image shows a rhino with calf. Credit: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Explore further: Ferns may hold key to land rehabilitation

More information: The article is published online in Journal of Ecology 12 feb 2014, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12218

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Poachers kill rhino in Kenyan capital park

Aug 13, 2013

Poachers have shot dead a white rhino in Nairobi's national park, a brazen raid in one of the best guarded sites in Kenya, wildlife officials said Tuesday.

US bars sale, trade of white rhino horns

Sep 10, 2013

The last remaining species of rhinoceros that is not endangered will receive new US protection due to an intensifying poaching crisis, federal wildlife officials said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Ferns may hold key to land rehabilitation

1 hour ago

Ferns may have potential in rehabilitating land following work by WA researchers who investigated how ferns are able to survive in semi-arid environments of Australia.

Moves to automate identification of Saimaa ringed seals

1 hour ago

Moves are being made to automate the identification of Saimaa ringed seals. This would bring new kinds of real-time information on how the extremely endangered species behaves, the movements of individual seals, and what ...

Pakistan customs bag record haul of illegal turtle meat

2 hours ago

Pakistani authorities are investigating after nearly two tonnes of freshwater turtle meat—a record haul taken from more than 4,000 animals—was seized from smugglers at Karachi port, officials said Friday.

The environmental impact of cats on native wildlife

4 hours ago

A team of researchers, led by Dr Wayne Linklater from the Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington, recently surveyed veterinarians and cat owners to understand ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.