Have Ecological Human Rights Been Globally Lost? A Conflict of Ecological Spatial Requirements and Cultural Landscape Opportunities in Modern Homo sapiens

  • Anastassia M. Makarieva
  • Victor G. Gorshkov
  • Bai-Lian Li
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


The commonly respected set of human rights includes the right for food and water, which are direct consequences of the biological design of our species. However, as we argue, this list of inherent rights is not complete, as illustrated by the analysis of ecological space scaling and social group size in other mammalian species. The size of individually controlled territory (home range), which scales proportionally to body mass, is estimated to be of the order of 4 km2 per individual in a mammalian species equal in size to Homo sapiens. The urbanized landscapes of modern civilization, with concentrated living at high population densities, violate this inherent ecological demand of the species. The behavioral, biological, ecological, and social causes and consequences of this violation are discussed. It is argued that coping with the global ecological and environmental challenges will be impossible without focused scientific studies of the genetically encoded ecological requirements of our species.


Home Range Genetic Program Competitive Interaction Cultural Information Black Rhinoceros 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



BLL thanks the US National Science Foundation and UC Agricultural Experiment Station for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastassia M. Makarieva
    • 1
  • Victor G. Gorshkov
    • 1
  • Bai-Lian Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Theoretical Physics DivisionPetersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Russian Academy of SciencesGatchina, St. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Ecological Complexity and Modeling Laboratory, Department of Botany and Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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