CM – The climate impact of wild boars more than a million cars


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July 19, 2021

from University of Queensland

By uprooting carbon trapped in the soil, wild boars worldwide release around 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which corresponds to 1.1 million cars.

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An international team led by researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Canterbury used predictive population models in conjunction with advanced mapping techniques to determine the climate damage that wild boars are causing on five continents.

Dr. UQ’s Christopher O’Bryan said the world’s ever-increasing wild boar population could pose a significant threat to the climate.

« Wild boars are like tractors plowing through fields and turning over earth to find food, » said Dr. O’Bryan.

« When soils are disturbed by humans plowing a field, or in this case wildlife uprooting, carbon is released into the atmosphere.

 » Because the soil is almost three times as much Like the atmosphere contains carbon, even a small fraction of the carbon emitted from the ground has the potential to accelerate climate change.

“Our models show a wide range of results, but they show that wild boars currently most likely cover an area of uproot about 36,000 to 124,000 square kilometers in non-native environments.

« This is an enormous area of ​​land that is affecting not only soil health and carbon emissions, but also the biodiversity and food security that are threatened for Sustainable development are vital. ”

Using existing models of boar numbers and locations, the Te am 10,000 maps of the potential global wild boar density.

They then modeled the amount of land that was perturbed by a long-term study of wild boar damage over a range of climatic conditions, vegetation types, and altitudes ranging from lowland grass to subalpine forests.

The researchers then simulated the global carbon emissions from soil damage by wild boar based on previous research in America, Europe and China.

Canterbury University Ph.D. Candidate Nicholas Patton said the research would have implications for mitigating the effects of climate change in the future.

« Invasive species are a man-made problem, so we need to recognize and take responsibility for their environmental and environmental effects, » Patton said.

« If invasive pigs are allowed to spread to areas with abundant soil carbon, the risk of greenhouse gas emissions could be even greater in the future.

 » Since wild boars are productive and wreak havoc, they are both costly and difficult to work with.

« Controlling wild boar definitely requires collaboration and collaboration across multiple jurisdictions, and our work is only part of the puzzle that will help managers better understand its implications.

« It is clear that more needs to be done, but in the meantime we should keep ecosystems and i Protect and monitor their soils, which are vulnerable to invasive species due to the loss of carbon.  »

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