Large carnivores are crucial members of many ecosystems and play important roles in their functioning. But their populations are in decline worldwide because they require large territories in which to live, have low reproduction rates and behave in ways that bring them into conflict with humans.
To gain an understanding of just how populations of large carnivores have changed in recent years, researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara have turned to data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Led by Adrian Stier and Kurt Ingeman, the team identified a list of 362 carnivore species from six different major taxon groups (sharks and rays, bony fish, amphibians and reptiles, birds, terrestrial mammals, and marine mammals) using the existing IUCN database from 2019. Species on this list include leopards, yellowfin tuna, steppe eagles, and gharials.