The majority of the world's terrestrial large carnivores have undergone substantial range contractions and many of these species are currently threatened with extinction. However, there has been little effort to fully quantify the extent of large carnivore range contractions, which hinders our ability to understand the roles and relative drivers of such trends. Here we present and analyse a newly constructed and comprehensive set of large carnivore range contraction maps.

In our recent perspective article,  we noted that most (approximately 60 percent) terrestrial large carnivore and large herbivore species are now threatened with extinction, and we offered a 13-point declaration designed to promote and guide actions to save these iconic mammalian megafauna (Ripple et al. 2016). Some may worry that a focus on saving megafauna might undermine efforts to conserve biodiversity more broadly.

Original Source

From the late Pleistocene to the Holocene and now the so-called Anthropocene, humans have been driving an ongoing series of species declines and extinctions. Large-bodied mammals are typically at a higher risk of extinction than smaller ones. However, in some circumstances, terrestrial megafauna populations have been able to recover some of their lost numbers because of strong conservation and political commitment, as well as human cultural changes. Indeed, many would be in considerably worse predicaments in the absence of conservation action.

We assessed the effects of the elimination of livestock in riparian systems at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon, 23 years after the removal of cattle grazing, using 64 photos taken before grazing was removed compared with later retake photos. Two methods were used for this assessment: (1) a qualitative visual method comparing seven cover types and processes and (2) a new quantitative method of inserting digital line transects into photos. Results indicated that channel widths and eroding banks decreased in 64 and 73 % of sites, respectively.