Trophic rewilding can expand natural climate solutions

Natural climate solutions are being advanced to arrest climate warming by protecting and enhancing carbon capture and storage in plants, soils, and sediments in ecosystems. These solutions are viewed as having the ancillary benefit of protecting habitats and landscapes to conserve animal species diversity. However, this reasoning undervalues the role animals play in controlling the carbon cycle. This paper presents scientific evidence showing that protecting and restoring wild animals and their functional roles can enhance natural carbon capture and storage. The authors call for new thinking that includes the restoration and conservation of wild animals and their ecosystem roles as a key component of natural climate solutions that can enhance the ability to prevent climate warming beyond 1.5 °C.

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