Africa’s megaherbivores — elephants, rhinos and hippos — could potentially play a major role in mitigating climate change, says Professor Graham Kerley, director of the Centre for African Conservation Ecology at Nelson Mandela University. He is one of six authors of a paper published in October in the journal Philosophical Transactions. Titled "Trophic rewilding as a climate mitigation strategy?" the paper was co-authored by Kerley and researchers from Sweden, SA, the Netherlands and New Mexico. “The Nobel prize for economics has just been awarded to people who work on climate change as it is the biggest threat facing society. Far bigger than global terrorism, it will affect everyone,” he says. “This study looks at an area that has not been addressed previously: the role of large and megaherbivores in mitigating climate change.” The study emanated from speculative discussions between scientists and proposes using Africa as a living laboratory to understand how these animals influenc...

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