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Extinction of megafauna ‘triggered global rise in wildfires’


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A study has found that as they went extinct, the loss of ancient grazing megafauna such as the woolly mammoth, the giant bison and ancient horses, may have played a significant role in increasing the level of fires.

Over a period from 50,000 to 6,000 years ago, many of the planet’s largest land animals went extinct - many of which were huge grazing species that had significant impacts on the environments through which they moved in search of food.

The study, led by academics at Yale University, indicates the loss of these grazing species “triggered a dramatic increase in fire activity in the world’s grasslands”.


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