David Macdonald celebrates a coalition of conservationists that has drawn attention to the urgency of saving the world¹s mega-fauna

January 26, 2017

A group of us, many of whom have been working together over our professional lifetimes, was led by Professor Bill Ripple in writing an article entitled ‘Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna’.

Mega-fauna are carnivores weighing over 15 kilograms, and herbivores weighing over 100 kilograms, whose numbers include some of the world’s most iconic species, including gorillas, rhinos, and big cats. The article seeks to raise awareness of the impending imperilment of these key creatures, and makes a call to the broader international community to join together in prompting action to conserve them.

We published the article in the journal Bioscience, and it seems we struck a chord: our essay has received more media attention than any article they have ever published. For those excited by the rarefied business of impact factors, our so-called Altmetric attention score is ranked #1 out of all articles ever published in Bioscience, and some of the coverage is summarised at

The impressive amount of correspondence prompted by this first essay prompted us to write a second one, entitled ‘The Urgency of Now’. The two papers can be found here:

Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna
The Urgency of Now