The world's largest Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is home to about 3 million large mammals, including lions and elephants, as well as zebras and blacktails.
At the end of the rainy season in early June, the world's largest group of 1.5 million black-tailed silkworms moves from the southeastern part of the park to the northwest. After the rainy season, birds such as storks, hawks, and plovers also gather, and the number of species investigated so far reaches 350.
This park is important because it is an ecologically intact ecosystem. It maintains an environment in which various living organisms can coexist with harmony between animals, plants, and the natural environment. However, most of the intact global ecosystems have disappeared so that few of these places remain.
Urgently needed to designate an undamaged area protected area
According to a recent comprehensive survey of global ecosystems, 97.1% of the earth's land is no longer considered ecologically intact. Too many species have disappeared or have decreased in number over the past 500 years. According to a survey of about 7,500 species of animals, large and small extinctions by humans have occurred in Earth's terrestrial habitats since 1500.
It was found that only 2.9% of the regions with perfect ecosystems remained in purple. Biodiversity destruction was confirmed in the remaining 97.1% of the regions, and of them, the ecosystem was greatly damaged by humans in 68%.
Among the areas where the ecosystem has been preserved are boreal forests in Canada, tundra in Greenland, and rainforest areas in Amazon, Congo, Tanzania, and Indonesia. 10 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, Venezuela, and Kenya participated in this study.
The thesis was published in the international academic journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change on the 15th. The title of the paper is Where Might We Find Ecologically Intact Communities?.
The research team said in the paper that only about 11% of the 2.9% of the small number of ecosystems that were completely intact in this study belonged to existing protected areas.
Professor Oscar Venter, a conservation scientist at the University of British Columbia, Canada, who participated in the study, said, these unspoiled areas, such as Amazon and Serengeti, are the last places on the planet that have not lost their biodiversity, but if they have been designated as protected areas, it is about 10 minutes. It's only 1 level.
The results of this study show a big difference from the results of a study that states that '20-40% of the earth's surface is out of the sphere of human influence and maintains the existing ecosystem.' It is expected to have a great impact on performing ecosystem restoration work in the future.
Preservation measures such as the introduction of new species must be prepared.
Ecosystem conservation scientists have been trying to figure out how many local ecosystems have not been destroyed by human activities. However, previous satellite images or estimations using primitive statistical data could not clearly identify the damage caused by roads and light pollution or logging. Depending on the situation, the canopies of the forest hung in the shape of a roof were able to hide the emptied forest ecosystem.
Professor Andrew Plumptre, a conservation biologist at the University of Cambridge said, a meadow with few or no lions or hyenas may appear intact in space, but in reality, it may be an area where diversity has been greatly compromised.
Accordingly, the team began to search for habitats that maintained naturally abundant species in 1500 according to UN standards in order to measure accurate data. Initially, only an area with an area of over 10,000 square kilometers in Puerto Rico was selected, and then the area was reduced to 1,000 square kilometers. And using a new method of assessment, we figured out what changes have been made to about 7,500 animal species over the past 500 years.
The new evaluation method is a method of first identifying areas where human influence is low, then grasping how historically species have extinct, and then analyzing how many species have become extinct by humans depending on the region. As a result of the analysis, biodiversity destruction was confirmed in 97.1% of the regions, and of them, the ecosystem was greatly damaged by humans in 68%. In addition, only 2.9% of the protagonists of more than 10,000 square kilometers have preserved all the species that lived in 1500 until now.
If the area was reduced to 1,000 square kilometers, the percentage was slightly increased to 3.4%, but there was no significant difference compared to the area over 10,000 square kilometers.
Professor Plumftre said, overall, the percentage of ecologically intact land' still on the planet was much lower than expected. I initially thought it would be 8-10%, but the ratio was so low that I was greatly surprised.
With the publication of this paper, some conservation ecologists have come up with different views.
Professor Jedediah Brodie of the University of Montana in the United States said, while many ecosystems around the world have lost their species, they still form a vibrant and diverse community, there is. However, this study can identify areas in need of restoration, and it is possible to consider the introduction of new species. I was hoping to be able to do it.