Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Threatened species need farmland

Several threatened species in the developing world are completely dependent on human agriculture for their survival, say scientists.

A study by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), found at least 30 bird species that would be driven to extinction without farmland.

The research is published in the journal Conservation Letters.

This study focused on birds, but the team say the same probably applies to many other animals.

Dr Paul Dolman from the University of East Anglia led the research team.

He told BBC Nature: "The general principle is that where large herbivores used to graze the land and create this habitat, they have now gone and human farmers are doing the job instead.

"So wildlife now needs the farmers."

The team laid the foundations for their study with research into threatened bird species in Africa and Asia.

This revealed that some of the rarest and most threatened birds there were completely dependent on traditional grazing land.

Read more here ...

By Victoria Gill

Science reporter, BBC Nature

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