This isn’t a story about that infamous space alien who sees battling other warriors as some kind of sport.
This is a story about the real life ecosystems of our planet and the unsung heroes that keep them in balance… Predators.
A recent study has found that one of the biggest destroyers of our environment has been mans constant eradication of top predators.
It has been proven that predators play a significant role in the maintenance of delicate ecosystems by controlling populations of other animals that have a flow on effect within the environment.
One such example is when deer populations got out of control in a national park. The flora of the park started to suffer as the animals feasted, unfettered upon the grasses.
This feasting had a flow on effect to other plants that depended on the thatch of the grass to germinate their seeds. The tree population dwindled and then other species such as beavers left the area.
Once the top predators in the food chain where reintroduced, within a decade the delicate balance was starting to restore itself to its original state.
The beavers returned and started building damns, the fish returned and started making fish, the bears returned and started eating fish and so on and so forth!
Humans have not always been the dominant species on earth.
For millions of years before our arrival, predators like wolves, bears and big cats were the creatures at the top of the food chain that nothing could touch.
Over the years humans have trapped, caged and killed predators, and now ecosystems across the world are notable by the absence of these animals. The wild is no longer truly wild.
A growing number of scientists think that this has been a mistake.
They see predators not as dispensable, ruthless killers, but an essential component of healthy ecosystems – which is why they want to put them back in to the wild.
But the modern world is not predator-friendly. Urbanisation and road building, which can fence animals in, have made it difficult for predators to avoid genetic problems due to inbreeding.