A research team led by Dr. David Coltman of the University of Sheffield has discovered that hunting may permanently change the physical characteristics of the targeted species.
Dr. Coltman, of the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, is part of a team investigating effects of thirty years of trophy hunting bighorn rams at Ram Mountain in Alberta, Canada. Trophy rams are heavy, with rapidly growing horns, and are a valuable commodity.
Trophy hunting at Ram Mountain is unrestricted, being limited only by the size of the ram’s horns, and any ram reaching the minimum size can be legally shot. Eighty-five per cent of the rams shot since 1975 have been under the age of eight. This gives rams with rapidly growing horns little time to breed, as mating is generally more successful from the age of six, when rams can use their horns to fight for females.
Lorna Branton | alfa
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