This will come with no surprise for the most of us, but humans have radically changed the way our planet looks today. For starters, there are a lot less forests than there previously were.
It is said that before the human migration across the planet, a squirrel could travel from what is now Lisbon in Portugal to the far reaches of the Kamchatka peninsula in the Siberian Tundra, without ever touching the ground and just by jumping from one tree onto the branches of the next. Ok, that’s quite a distance to go and that squirrel would probably die of old age before reaching its destination, but that’s not the point of the story.
Moreover, because of humanity, the world is much more polluted, the night sky is far less amazing and life is more and more scarce by the minute. This is especially true when it comes to large mammals. “Economically well off” continents like Europe and North America have an especially small number of large mammals when it comes to their geographical position and size.
Both American continents used to have about 105 large mammal species, including saber-toothed cats, mastodons, giant sloths and giant armadillos, which all disappeared in the last 100,000 years or so. A previous study by the Aarhus University research team showed that human activity was responsible for this mass extinction and not some random natural disaster or climate change.
The reason why Africa is so famous for its safaris is because the people here warn’t so successful in killing their large wildlife yet. The map below, made by the researchers at Denmark’s Aarhus University, shows where large mammals would have lived in abundance if us humans would have been better at sharing this world with others.
Places with the largest potential for large mammals to thrive in are the American continents in places like Texas, the Great Plains, Brazil and Argentina. Now, this study wasn’t made in order to blame humans for their past activities but rather as an aid for future nature restoration efforts.