There is no doubt humans have left a lasting impact on the environment since the start of the Industrial Revolution. But a new study suggests people were leaving their mark much earlier: Settlers in Madagascar set forests ablaze 1,000 years ago to make room for cattle pastures.
New research from the University College Dublin shows Cows were domesticated in stages and far more selectively than previous research indicated. DNA analysis indicates ancient British farmers restocked their domesticated herds with still-wild ox specimens called aurochs that grazed throughout areas of Europe, Asia and North Africa.
Land-sharing was found to be counterproductive for retaining biodiversity. A recent study suggests that leaving some land completely untouched, while increasing farming practice solely in other areas, will benefit the evolutionary diversity of bird species.
Previous research has suggested cattle are the next invasive species, being introduced to regions where cows were not previously found. While this has yet to be confirmed, their presence is currently an issue in Mongolia, where these grass-eaters are now overgrazing and destroying vital rangelands, a new study says.
Researchers have determined that a newly discovered cave-dwelling catfish is already in danger of becoming extinct, and the cause is not one you'd likely expect.