BBC Future quotes McGill in article on animals thriving in the Anthropocene
Brian McGill, a professor of ecological modeling at the University of Maine, spoke with BBC Future for an article about how some animals are thriving in the Anthropocene, an era defined by humanity’s impact on the planet. McGill noted human impact on local ecologies can sometimes have unexpected effects. He pointed to a study published in 2014 that found common European bird species, such as house sparrows, were declining in numbers, which coincided with an increase in less abundant birds like grey herons, the article states. McGill also was a co-author of a 2014 study led by the University of St. Andrews that surveyed 100 environments around the world. The team found that, even though many individual species had died out, overall the sites were not becoming less biodiverse. Instead, in many places the changeover of species was increasing, the article states. “This doesn’t prevent the fact that there are many individual sites with strong declines, just that they’re balanced with strong gains,” McGill said.