(Inside Science) -- The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in Tanzania and Kenya is one of the largest and most beloved stretches of protected wilderness on Earth. But human pressures around the edges of the protected area may be harming the entire ecosystem, squeezing wildlife into a smaller area and depleting the richness of grass and soil. The new findings suggest that rather than focusing only on the core of an ecosystem, conservationists must find ways for humans and wildlife to coexist across much larger landscapes.
"A lot of times people are just like, 'Well, let's just make sure we can protect the protected area, and that should be good enough.' And what we're trying to say is that if you do that, there are going to be consequences," said Mark Ritchie, an ecologist at Syracuse University in New York and one of the study's authors.