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Reviving giants: examining megafauna’s role in biodiversity and carbon balance

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Earth.Org or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A growing body of research, including a significant 2022 study, highlights the critical role of megafauna in addressing the environmental crisis through biodiversity recovery and carbon balance improvement
Restoring large mammal populations is shown to enhance biodiversity, sequester carbon, and reduce fire-related emissions, offering a multifaceted approach to mitigating climate change

🔭 The context: The stark decline in wildlife populations, with wild mammals now constituting just 4% of global mammal biomass, underscores the urgency of reversing biodiversity loss
Megafauna, often seen as habitat destroyers, are now recognized for their vital contributions to ecosystem stability and climate change mitigation, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Large herbivores act as ecosystem engineers, influencing fire regimes and facilitating carbon sequestration through their activities
Their restoration and conservation can naturally mitigate fire risks and enhance terrestrial carbon storage, highlighting the interconnectedness of biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation efforts

⏭️ What's next: The challenge lies in scaling up land restoration and megafauna conservation efforts without alienating local communities. Initiatives like the "30-by-30" goal set at COP15 aim to protect 30% of land and water by 2030, suggesting a path forward that balances ecological restoration with socio-economic benefits

💬 One quote: "Forest elephants affect the abundance of plant species... thereby reducing fuel biomass while opening more favourable conditions for the heavy wood species to mature."

📈 One stat: Average global wildlife decline of 69% in the last 50 years, emphasizing the critical need for conservation efforts.

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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