Time.news – Wild boars can release around 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide each year globally, the equivalent of pollutant produced by 1.1 million cars. This was calculated by scientists from the University of Queensland and the University of Canterbury, who published the results of their work in the journal Global Change Biology.
The team, led by Christopher O’Bryan of the University of Canterbury, used population predictive models and advanced mapping techniques to assess the climatic damage associated with wild boar presence. The research team has developed 10,000 maps of the potential global density of feral pigs, evaluating the relative damage caused by the species and the consequent carbon emissions.
“The continuous expansion of the population of these animals – says the author – could pose a threat to the climate. Wild pigs can be compared to tractors that plow the fields, turning the land in search of food”. The soil, experts explain, contains about three times the carbon present in the atmosphere, so even a small fraction can accelerate climate change.
“Our models – reports the researcher – show that wild pigs are eradicating huge amounts of land, also threatening biodiversity and food security, two crucial elements for sustainable development “.
“We hope this work can help ensure that targeted measures are taken to mitigate climate change – says Nicholas Patton, PhD student at the University of Canterbury – invasive species are a man-made problem, we must recognize and take responsibility. the environmental and ecological consequences “.
The control of feral pigs, the experts point out, will require cooperation and collaboration. “We have a lot of work to do – conclude the scientists – but in the meantime we must continue to protect and monitor ecosystems susceptible to the presence of invasive species”.