The human ‘superpredator’ is unique – and unsustainable, study says
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science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn- human-superpredator-unique- predator-carnivore-fishing- hunting-unsustainable- 20150820-story.html
If you’re looking for the world’s top “super-predator,” look no further than your own reflection.
A new study that examined 2,125 interactions between predators and their prey found that humans kill other carnivores at a rate far higher than all other top predators. But what solidifies our No. 1 position is the fact that our hunting methods are so devastating to other species that they alter the course of their evolution – if they’re not driven to extinction.
The findings, published this week in the journal Science, reveal the full extent of the damage wrought by human hunting and fishing practices. The loss of these fearsome carnivores is deeply worrisome to ecologists because top predators play a major role in keeping their ecosystems in balance.
The study also suggests there might be hope for recovery – if we learn to act more like the carnivores we’ve been hunting down.
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