According to a new study which the journal Current Biology recently published, large and dangerous predators like mountain lions, killer whales and alligators are relocating in certain ecosystems that traditionally, are not meant for them. For example, alligators have been seen in Florida, killer whales in freshwater rivers and mountain lions in grasslands. Many people theorized that the predators were moving in these areas because of the conservation efforts. However, it seems that actually, these animals are simply taking back what is rightfully theirs.
In order to reach this conclusion, the team of experts mainly analyzed sea otters on the Pacific coast of the United States and alligators in the Southeastern areas of the country. Because these species are thriving and living a “successful” life in these new habitats, the experts theorized that this is not unusual as they are used to living in them. Once upon a time, this was their land before humans and their activity drove them away. According to Brian Silliman, a co-author of the new study, people should no longer look at an alligator on a beach or coral reef and think it shouldn’t be there. This is actually not something new at all.
Predators are reconquering what is rightfully theirs
In fact, what is happening now is the old norm, what was taking place before human activity pushed these species into distant refuges. Now, they are simply taking back what was theirs to begin with. Moreover, experts think that the same might apply to other predators that are being seen in new areas. However, in order to be sure, they need to conduct more research.
There are many other examples of predators moving in areas that a while ago were theirs. Orangutans are coming back to disturbed forests. Also, wolves and coyotes are returning to beaches and rocky shores.
Image source: pixnio