Scientists studied fruit bats, a species of bat native to Australia, between 1996 and 2020.
New York: A new study confirms that the natural environment must be protected and restored if global pandemics are to be avoided in the future.
A study published in the scientific journal Nature indicates that due to inadequate food sources, animals leave their habitats and run the risk of spreading diseases to livestock and humans.
The scientists from Cornell University in the US, who conducted the study, studied fruit bats, a species of bat native to Australia, between 1996 and 2020 to understand the risks of disease transmission from one animal to another.
According to the researchers, every global outbreak since the 1990s has been caused by the transmission of pathogens from animals to humans, with two main factors. The first is the loss of habitat for these animals due to migration of animals to agricultural areas and the second is the lack of food due to climate change.
Raina Plowright, a professor at Cornell University, said in a statement that the world’s concern now is how we can prevent the next global pandemic. Unfortunately, the idea of preserving or restoring nature is not discussed.
In years when food was plentiful in the winter, researchers noted that bats moved away from humans in their native forests. During food shortages, bats moved closer to agricultural areas and humans where they could spread more viruses.