Researchers from the University of Victoria in Canada have conducted a study which established that humans are actually super predators because they are more efficient than any other predator species in the world.
According to the lead author of the study conservation scientist Chris Darimont from the University of Victoria humans are going against Darwin’s evolution of theory because they are killing mature animals that are in their reproductive primes.
For the study the researchers collected data about 2.125 interactions between predators and prey that occurred among various populations on both land and see. They did this In order to analyze what share of the adult predator population killed more each year. The findings indicate that humans killed 14.1 more fish than any other marine predator. The results were as alarming on land as well: humans hunt predator at rates which are 9.2 times higher than the rates at which carnivores kill each other.
This indicates that the humans’ consumption levels directly affect the course of evolution of the species which are hunted by us. Moreover this behavior leads to the endangerment and even disappearance of a large number of species.
While predators usually eat weak and small animals, humans break this rule and thus alter the reproduction chain. The research team wrote:
Given this competitive dominance, impacts on predators and other unique predatory behavior, we suggest that humans function as an unsustainable “super predator” which – unless additionally constrained by managers – will continue to alter ecological and evolutionary processes globally.”
It is believed that humans have an essential role in the decline of top predators on land such as bears, tigers and lions and the world’s population of large fish. The researchers also observed that both aquatic and terrestrial predators have a limited number of species which they can feed on and they only kill other weaker species only to satisfy their physiological needs. Unlike them humans perform activities like fishing and hunting just as a hobby or a sport. Most importantly they are not aware that their behavior is ruining the habitat of important species or that it is altering their lifestyle.
The researchers involved in the study suggest that a solution could be for humans to fish and hunt in conditions that are similar to the natural predators: meaning that they should focus on the young while preserving the adults that can further bear offspring.
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