A recent study published in the journal Biological Conservation found that the number of large mammals in Africa has declined by 98% over the past 100 years. This means that of the 74 species of large mammals living in Africa, 59 are threatened with extinction.
The decline in the number of large mammals has serious consequences for Africa’s ecosystems. They play an important role in maintaining the balance of nature and are key factors in spreading plant seeds and providing food for other animals.
According to scientists, human activity is the main cause of this decline. Poaching, habitat destruction and conflicts with humans have brought many species of large mammals to the brink of extinction.
One of the largest endangered mammals is the elephant. There are only about 415,000 elephants left in Africa, a catastrophically low number compared to the numbers at the beginning of the 20th century (about 10 million). If this trend continues, elephants could disappear from the earth in a few decades.
However, not all is lost. Scientists believe that saving the large mammals is possible if measures are taken to protect their habitat, combat poaching and reduce conflicts with humans.
“We must understand that large mammals are an integral part of our nature, and we must do everything we can to preserve them for future generations,” says Jonathan Bail, director of the International Elephant Conservation Program.