Falling fish stocks, the murder of Cecil the Lion and decreasing biodiversity are all symptoms of our species impact on the planet. A new study shows that whilst we predate herbivores (assuming we exclude the domestic meat industry) at a rate comparable to other large carnivores, we predate large carnivores and fish at a much greater rate. For fish we catch at a rate 14 times greater than any other predator and for large carnivores the rate is 9 times that of any natural predation.
A new study drives home the destructive power of our species. Not only do we kill other animals at much higher rates than other predators, but our ability to bring down larger adults can make it very difficult for some prey populations to recover. This superpredator status may fill our bellies, but it has darker implications. "Any predator capable of exerting such impact will eventually drive its prey to extinction," warns Gerardo Ceballos, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.