Between 50,000 and 6,000 years ago, many large grazing species became extinct, such as the mammoth, the great wildebeest, and the early horse species. This means that a lot more vegetation remains, which Yale researchers have now linked to a dramatic increase in fire.
South America lost most of its pastures, the study found. 83 percent of all species. Following North America, 68 percent of the species became extinct. Australia lost 44 per cent and Africa 22 per cent. The researchers compared these figures with soil samples from 410 areas around the world and found that there were more fire hazards in the area due to higher grazing losses.
Fire is not the only result of the disappearance of grass eaters. This led to a decrease in the number of fruit trees and problems with predators.
The researchers hope their work will show how strong the link between grazing and fire is. At a time when heat and the number of fires are on the rise, it is their knowledge that we believe we can do something now.
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