Why are mammals important?

Mammals play key roles within the ecosystems in which they live, and are critical in maintaining the functions and services provided by ecosystems.

They achieve this through their roles as grazers, predators, pollinators and seed dispersers. Mammals also provide numerous benefits to humans, both directly and indirectly; they are an important food source for many cultures, and are used in recreation and improving livelihoods around the world. Indirectly, mammals are very important in maintaining balanced ecosystems and the services they provide to mankind.

The consequences of species extinction extend well beyond the last animal of its kind. We are just beginning to understand the cascading effects that extinction can have on other species, ecosystems and on our own survival.

Monkey in Costa Rica

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