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'Rewilding' the countryside with large grazers such as buffalo and rhino could stop global warming, new research suggests.
Rewilding is a type of conservation that involves restoring ecosystems by reinstating natural processes and missing species.
Grazing - Animals - Carbon - Dioxide - Atmosphere
Large grazing animals could help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by increasing the amount of carbon stored in green spaces, experts say.
Scientists believe that replacing intensively-farmed livestock with free-roaming grazers could also reduce the amount of methane belched into the atmosphere.
Rhinos - Wildfires - Leaves - Vegetation - Blaze
Additionally, introducing rhinos could suppress wildfires as they eat fallen leaves and vegetation that is most likely to spark up a blaze.
According to 16 research papers published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 'trophic rewilding' could stop global warming.
Rewilding - Animals - Places - Humans - Feature
Trophic rewilding is about reintroducing animals in places where they have would have lived before humans drove them away, according to an in-depth feature by Carbon Brief.
Intensive livestock farming has contributed to a dramatic decline in native large, grazing herbivores.
Herbivore - Grazers - Cows - Levels - Methane
These herbivore have been replaced by grazers such as cows which belch out higher levels of methane, which is significantly more polluting than carbon dioxide.
There is still little research into the methane footprints of large herbivores.
Comparisons - Paper - Professor - Joris - Cromsigt
However, rough comparisons in a paper by Professor Joris Cromsigt from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences suggests that white rhinoceros, hippopotamus and elephants are among the least polluting grazers.
This is because they generally ferment their food in the large intestine.
Animals - Cattle - Buffalo - Bison - Amounts
Meanwhile, animals such as cattle, buffalo and bison produce larger amounts of methane.
All grazing animals could reduce global warming in another way by increasing how much carbon green spaces can hold.
Part - Seeds
This is in part because they traditionally help disperse the seeds...
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