According to an extensive study of 24,500 living and extinct species published on Wednesday, herbivores, whether mammals, birds or reptiles, face a higher risk of extinction than predators.
The paper, published in "Science Advances," shows that herbivores have suffered a higher rate of extinction than other parts of the food web in the past 50,000 years, and this trend continues to this day.
According to anecdotal evidence, this view is related to the most vulnerable carnivores because of their wide range of residences and low population growth rates.
The greatest threat is to reptile herbivores (such as sea turtles) and large herbivores (such as elephants).
"There is too much data there, and sometimes you only need one person," said Trisha Atwood, an ecologist at Utah State University.
The researchers first studied the risk of modern extinction in herbicides.
They performed the same analysis on species in the late Pleistocene, which began in Africa, North and South America 11,000 years ago, and 50,000 years ago, for Australia
and finally, they studied food How the size and location of the food web affect the threat status of 22,166 living species.
The author writes that although this trend may have multiple causes, some human intervention
"invasive vertebrates (such as Rats), insects (e.g. fire ants) and plants (e.g. Hortentot figs) are all related to the decline or even extinction of several reptiles, they said.
In addition, invasive species, pollution and habitat changes seem to have a disproportionate effect on small herbivorous birds.
There are certain exceptions: predators living in marine habitats