All animals and plants have their role in nature, and when species are lost one after another, without letting the ecosystem adapt in the end, what can happen is that the area becomes a barren place.
In fact, according to a study carried out by Spanish, Colombian and Brazilian researchers from the Paulista State University (UNESP), together with scientists from England and Finland, the extinction of large animals would accelerate climate change.
Frugivorous animals, that is, those that eat fruit, are responsible for regenerating forests. They eat the ripe fruits that they take from the plants, and the seeds pass through their digestive tract remaining intact. When they are expelled, they are clean and, in addition, they have natural fertilizer that will help them to start off on the right foot.
However, poaching and loss of habitat is putting many of these large animals, such as orangutans and elephants, in danger of extinction. If they were to disappear, the plants would have a lot of trouble growing. But not only that, but the study, carried out in forests in southeastern Brazil, has shown that "forest areas that do not have frugivores have a much lower carbon storage capacity than forests that are well conserved."
Thus, it is vital to conserve the - unfortunately - few frugivorous animals that we have left, for the good of the forests, but also to protect ourselves from the effects of climate change. So much so that Pedro Jordano, research professor at the Doñana Biological Station and co-author of the study, recalls that more than 90% of tree species and 60% of Mediterranean forests depend on these animals.
Until now, only human action in green areas has been taken into account, but it is important to start thinking about protecting the animals that live in them.