Study Demonstrates One Extinction Leads to Another
When a carnivore becomes extinct, other predatory species could soon follow, according to new research. Scientists have previously put forward this theory, but a University of Exeter team has now carried out the first experiment to prove it. Published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the study shows how the demise of one carnivore species can indirectly cause another to become extinct.
The University of Exeter team believes any extinction can create a ripple effect across a food web, with far-reaching consequences for many other animals. The research adds weight to growing evidence that a ‘single species’ approach to conservation, for example in fisheries management, is misguided. Instead the focus needs to be holistic, encompassing species across an entire ecosystem.