An alarming phenomenon recently observed in Southeast Asia is the dramatic increase in the numbers of wild pigs and macaws. This not only creates problems for the region’s natural forests, but also poses a serious threat to human health.
A study by the University of Queensland, led by Dr. Matthew Luskin, found that populations of feral pigs and macaws have increased by 400% in forests adjacent to farmland and plantations. These animals are actively using farmland, damaging crops and eating caloric foods.
However, the problem is not limited to economic losses. Feral pigs and macaws are known carriers of various diseases that can be transmitted to humans. This poses a potential threat to human health and safety, especially in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Luskin emphasized that human activities are one of the main reasons for this increase in the wildlife population. Deforestation and the creation of palm oil farms create ideal conditions for the reproduction and spread of these species.
Professor Carlos Perez of the University of East Anglia also supported this view, noting that human-modified rainforests are often the source of epidemics. He warned of the possibility of future human epidemics in densely populated rural areas of Southeast Asia.
In addition, wild pigs and macaques have a disastrous effect on local ecosystems. They destroy the seeds and seedlings of native plants and eat the eggs of birds and reptiles. This can lead to a 62% reduction in rainforest regeneration.
The situation of wild pigs and macaws in Southeast Asia requires immediate attention and action. Strategies need to be developed to manage the populations of these species, as well as educational programs for the public to make them aware of the risks associated with contact with these animals.