World’s biggest animals will be extinct in 80 years – study

You might’ve been lucky enough to see one of the world’s big animals on safari, but new research suggests that within the next 80 years, that won’t be possible.

A study in the Journal of BioScience claims 59 percent of the world’s biggest carnivores and 60 percent of big herbivores are threatened.

That includes the Bengal tiger, the white rhino, and the western gorillas to name just a few.

In the grand scheme of things the year 2096 isn’t that far away – so what’s behind the grim prediction?

Auckland University professor Jacqueline Beggs says deforestation is a major factor.

“Borneo for example – you fly over that country and it would make you weep, the forests are just rapidly being replaced,” she told Paul Henry.

She’s right: conservation group WWF estimates around 80,000 square kilometres of forest are lost each year – that’s equivalent to 48 football fields every minute.

That’s because developing countries are felling trees to make way for commodity crops like palm oil, destroying the homes of millions of animals.

Then there’s poaching.

“For some reason in Vietnam, the demand for rhino horn has gone through the roof,” Prof Beggs says.

Experts say one of the biggest solutions is breeding programmes being conducted at zoos around the world.

But 80 years will come around quickly – so time is ticking.

Source: Newshub