Scientists have learned to predict extinction of large animals 01:14

American scientists from the University of California at San Diego have created a computational model that can predict the probability of extinction of large animals. The algorithm takes into account the complexity of the interaction between humans and animals, features of the life cycle and environmental changes, and also controls for changes in anthropogenic and environmental pressures. The study was published in the scientific journal magazine Quaternary Research (QuatRes).

According to the study’s authors, the new tool could become the basis for strategy and policy for environmental management at a time when the rate of extinction is rapidly increasing.

The researchers took Syncerus antiquus, or the giant African buffalo, a large ungulate that lived in Africa between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago, as the basis for their model. According to experts, there is still no consensus in the scientific community about which factors are most contributing to the extinction of these animals.

The scientists ran computer simulations to see how populations of Syncerus antiquus would perform under 24 scenarios that included a variety of human impacts as well as environmental conditions, including variability in natural conditions and the length of the plant’s growing season.

After running 40 rounds of simulations for each scenario, the researchers calculated the probability of extinction of the Syncerus antiquus population.

The team found that local extinction was much more likely when male buffalo were more aggressive. The process has accelerated due to climate change and food supply instability.

Scientists plan to apply their model to traditional animal husbandry to better plan agriculture in the face of climate change. The algorithm could also be used to predict the chances of survival of black rhinos, giant tortoises and other vulnerable species, according to the tool’s authors.

Previous scientists I learned New details about one of the largest extinctions in Earth history.

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Source: Gazeta


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