“Local iconic species” suffer when humans modify habitat

Dec 07, 2018, 6:09 AM EST
(Source: Jarl-Erik Storesund/flickr)
(Source: Jarl-Erik Storesund/flickr)

When humans modify a natural habitat for farming or building cities, the “local iconic species” that occupy a small area, for example rhinos or tigers, are lost and replaced by cosmopolitan species such as pigeons or rats, disrupting the makeup of the ecosystem.

A new study examined an area inhabited by nearly 20,000 different species of animals and plants, finding that human habitat modification favors the same species everywhere, which threatens sound functioning of ecosystems as they lose distinct members, notes Science Daily.

The findings can help design conservation efforts to better safeguard localized species and stem the change in biodiversity, which can have far-reaching consequences, including adverse effects on food security, reports the BBC.