<< o Many Buffalo jump sites have been found where Native
Americans stampeded huge herds over cliffs -- some sites
have the remains of as many as 300,000 buffalo.
o They often hunted animals into extinction, including the
woolly mammoth, saber-toothed tiger, giant sloth, giant
beaver, camel, horse, two-toed horse and dire wolf,
according to environmental writer Alston Chase. >>
I've read that the Maori of New Zealand were responsible for the extinction
of the moas, a group of huge flightless birds, the largest species of which
stood over ten feet tall. This doesn't surprise me since New Zealand is an
island; it would be easier for something like this to happen on an island
than on a big continent where species are generally dispersed over a wider
range and exist in greater numbers.
Early humans were supposed to have enlarged the Saharan Desert in northern
Africa by clearing trees for farming.Later this practice continued during the
time of the Roman Empire.
I must say in the case of Native American tribes that rapid climate changes
may also have played a part in exterminating larger mammals. Of course, with
humans, as their hunting methods progress in efficiency and as their lifespan
increases due to better living conditions which they learn to create for
themselves, naturally this is going to create a gross imbalance in the
ecosystem. The other animals, especially the largest ones, are going to
suffer as a result, especially if they're a species that humans feel
threatened by and decide to exterminate, like wolves for instance. People are
also unable to see the big picture a lot of times and think that natural
resources such as animals are never going to run out so they keep killing
them off for their own uses like for food as well as non-essential luxury
items and decorations until the animals are finally wiped out. So, while more
industrialized nations are capable of great damage to an ecosystem,
apparently tribal societies are capable of affecting it as well, just not as
much. This should help put things into perspective as far as as current views
toward them are concerned.
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