Setting time limits for hunting and fishing may help maintain wildlife populations
Hunting and fishing quotas limit the number of game animals or fish an individual may take based on harvests from the previous year. But according to a new study co-authored by University of Minnesota ecologist Craig Packer, this strategy may jeopardize wildlife populations.
The authors recommend that wildlife managers rethink policies for sustainable utilization. Setting limits on the number of days allowed for hunting and fishing rather than the number of trophies would be a more effective way to ensure continued supply and to prevent extinction.
Results of the study are published in the May 13 issue of Science.
“Quotas don’t consider population fluctuations caused by disease outbreaks, harsh weather and other variables that affect animal abundance from year to year,” Packer explains. “Hunters and fishermen can work harder to make their quotas when desirable species are scarce. The extra pressure can cause populations to collapse.” Setting limits on the amount of time spent hunting could better protect fragile populations.
John Fryxell and Kevin McCann, from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, along with colleagues in Norway and the United States, developed a model based on mass action assumptions about human behavior and current hunting and fishing regulations. They tested the model using data from three populations of deer and moose from Canada and Norway over a 20- year period. Packer’s work on the impact of trophy hunting on lion populations in Africa and cougars in the United States, helped to inspire the current study.
The problem is exacerbated by the traditional practice of open access, Fryxell noted. Hunters and fishermen tend to choose spots based on word of mouth, which travels slowly. By the time they are well known, popular sites may already have shrinking populations and visitors may need to work harder and longer to reach quotas, which further endanger the species. Once populations are depleted, restoring them is a challenge.
“It can take decades for large animal populations to recover from collapses, as we know from our disastrous experience with cod stocks off the coast of Newfoundland, Fryxell said. “We need to make strategic long-term changes to make a difference.”
Jeff Falk | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...