Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hunting said pushing central African forests to point of collapse

Seed Daily via UPI: Hunting of important animal species in central Africa could be pushing forests to the point of ecological collapse, an international research team says.

Scientists from British and Australian universities and the Wildlife Conservation Society warn the current rate of unsustainable hunting of forest elephants, gorillas and other seed-dispersing species threatens the ability of forest ecosystems to regenerate.

The researchers say unless landscape-wide hunting management plans are put in place there is a risk of environmental catastrophe, a WCS release said Tuesday.

"Humans have lived in the forests of Central Africa for thousands of years, until recently practicing subsistence hunting for the needs of their communities," lead study author Kate Abernethy of Scotland's Stirling University said. "Over the past few decades, this dynamic has drastically changed.

"Much of the hunting is now commercially driven, and species that play important ecological functions are being driven to local extinction."...

A 1910 photo

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