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Promoting predators and compassionate conservation : Predators and Compassionate Conservation

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      Status and ecological effects of the world's largest carnivores.

      Large carnivores face serious threats and are experiencing massive declines in their populations and geographic ranges around the world. We highlight how these threats have affected the conservation status and ecological functioning of the 31 largest mammalian carnivores on Earth. Consistent with theory, empirical studies increasingly show that large carnivores have substantial effects on the structure and function of diverse ecosystems. Significant cascading trophic interactions, mediated by their prey or sympatric mesopredators, arise when some of these carnivores are extirpated from or repatriated to ecosystems. Unexpected effects of trophic cascades on various taxa and processes include changes to bird, mammal, invertebrate, and herpetofauna abundance or richness; subsidies to scavengers; altered disease dynamics; carbon sequestration; modified stream morphology; and crop damage. Promoting tolerance and coexistence with large carnivores is a crucial societal challenge that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth's largest carnivores and all that depends upon them, including humans.
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        Recovery of large carnivores in Europe's modern human-dominated landscapes.

        The conservation of large carnivores is a formidable challenge for biodiversity conservation. Using a data set on the past and current status of brown bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), gray wolves (Canis lupus), and wolverines (Gulo gulo) in European countries, we show that roughly one-third of mainland Europe hosts at least one large carnivore species, with stable or increasing abundance in most cases in 21st-century records. The reasons for this overall conservation success include protective legislation, supportive public opinion, and a variety of practices making coexistence between large carnivores and people possible. The European situation reveals that large carnivores and people can share the same landscape. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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          Don't judge species on their origins.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Conservation Biology
            Conservation Biology
            Wiley-Blackwell
            08888892
            October 2015
            October 2015
            : 29
            : 5
            : 1481-1484
            10.1111/cobi.12525
            © 2015

            http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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