A few days ago a study about the effects of wars and armed conflicts on “wild” animal population, was published in Nature magazine.
The goal of the study was to examine to what extent do wars and armed conflicts reduce “wild” animal populations in comparison to other factors.
The research team analyzed 253 populations of 36 large herbivorous mammals (large mammals are considered “keystone species,” meaning they are indicators of their ecosystem’s condition), across 126 protected preserves in 19 African nations, between 1946 and 2010.
The results are that frequent armed conflicts are the most important factor explaining the trends in wildlife populations relative to all other factors they looked at, or in other words, as the number of conflicts increased, wildlife populations declined.
The researchers’ conclusion sounds totally obvious. What we find interesting is one of their work premises which is that it’s hard to conclude whether wars have positive or negative effects on “wild” animal population. The fact that there was even a need for this kind of research is what we found interesting and important. Continue reading