The view from the top looks rather grim.
Environment News Service (ENS) recently reported on an international study, which was led by researchers from Oregon State University, that showed major declines of large carnivores around the world. The population decreases go hand in hand with habitat losses.
Thinking about the possible extinction of these species, many of which are charismatic in their ability to capture human interest in the environment, is disheartening enough on its own. However, the bigger picture tells an even bleaker story. As the ENS article notes, these top predators are critical to the ecosystems they inhabit. Losing them would have wide impacts.
A large carnivore may be a formidable sight, but not seeing them at all would be infinitely more frightening.