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Humans 'Drive Out Large Mammals'
By Wendy Heller, December 28, 2007 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Bbc.co.uk

By examining records dating back to AD1500, US researchers found that at least 35% of mammals over 20kg had seen their range cut by more than half.

They said urgent action was needed to protect the animals, which were being hunted or suffering habitat loss.

The findings have been published in the Journal of Mammalogy.

The research, carried out by a team of scientists from Princeton University and conservation group WWF-US, has been described as the first "measurement of human impacts on biodiversity based on the absence of native, large mammals".

"Perhaps the most striking result of our study is that [the] 109 places that still retain the same roster of large mammals as in AD1500 are either small, intensively managed reserved or places of extremes," revealed lead author John Morrison, WWF-US's director of conservation measures.

"Remote areas are either too hot, dry, wet, frozen [or] swampy to support intensive activities."

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