loss, poaching, and the conflict |
between elephant and man has caused a
95 percent loss in Asian elephant (Elephas
maximus) historical distribution range.
CREDIT: Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz
Elephants and rhinoceroses are essential to keeping biodiversity levels high, new research suggests.
In areas where these large seed-dispersing animals have disappeared, like the tropical forest of South-East Asia, researchers found that biodiversity dropped off. Other herbivores like the small pig-looking tapir can't replace these large grazers.
"Megaherbivores act as the 'gardeners' of humid tropical forests: They are vital to forest regeneration and maintain its structure and biodiversity," study researcher Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, of the University of Nottingham in Malaysia, said in a statement.
The research was detailed in the March 2012 issue of the journal Biotropica.