Bringing back large animals such as elephants and sharks could play a key role in addressing climate change, according to a report in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The paper states that rewilding just nine species or groups would contribute more than 95% of the global target of extracting 500 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2100.
Animals play a significant role in maintaining soil, which can help plants grow and absorb carbon. By moving around, animals distribute nutrients and disturb the soil through trampling, digging and nest building. This can help carbon storage and even prevent wildfires.
However, human activity has led to many animals being unable to fulfil their ecological roles. The report suggests working closely with communities to address social issues and reintroduce wildlife to areas where people live.
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