Recreational hunting – especially hunting for trophies of charismatic species – poses ethical and moral challenges. Again, recreational hunting is often offered to protect nature and support the livelihoods of the local population.
In a new article published in the magazine A world, Scientists from the University of Helsinki in Finland and Flinders University He has reviewed more than 1,000 studies on recreational hunting in Australia – the first attempt to generalize the scientific literature examining the biodiversity and social impact of recreational hunting worldwide.
Co-chair author Enrico Di Min, an associate professor at the University of Helsinki, says that while the opposite is true, there is evidence that some recreational hunting can benefit the environment and society.
Helsinki University colleague and co-author Dr. Hayley Clements said more analysis is needed to understand how and why recreational hunting can work for good and areas that can be harmful.
Corey Bradshaw, a professor at Flinders University, said the pros and cons of recreational hunting are a paradox that goes to the heart.
“We have identified the geographical distribution and diversity of species hunted around the world and explored and summarized key topics surrounding hunting to take into account both the positive and negative effects of recreational hunting on nature conservation and human well-being,” says Professor Bradshaw, head of Flinders’ Global Environmental Laboratory. .
“On the one hand, recreational hunting can reduce the number of individual animals in a population, and on the other hand, shifting land from agriculture or other forms of development to priority hunting areas can benefit virtually all ecosystems,” he says.
Hunting research focuses on the behavior and population dynamics of large mammals in North America, Europe, and Africa.
Dr. Clements says there is still no evidence to answer the pressing question of why hunting contributes to the sustainable conservation of biodiversity in some areas.
“Two-thirds of hunting research is based on mammals. Red deer, white-tailed deer, wild boar, deer and lion are best studied. Of these species, only the lion is a conservation issue, and there are many recommendations for making hunting sustainable through quotas or seasonal restrictions, ”says Dr. Clements.
“Less research has been done to examine the impact of hunting on ecosystem integrity and function and how it affects the lives of local people, or to document local people’s perceptions of hunting,” he said.
For example, an area of approximately 1,394,000 km2 has been set aside for trophy hunting in sub-Saharan Africa, but little has been done on how effective these areas are in protecting ecosystems and how local communities benefit from hunting.
Associate Professor Di Min, who heads the Helsinki Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Conservation Science, argues that future research should focus on the contribution of recreational hunting to both biodiversity and social goals.
“We have established a research agenda to assess the role of recreational hunting in different socio-ecological systems and to take into account the values and needs of local people.
Docent Di Min says the need for such evidence is urgent, given the declining number of recreational hunters in some areas and the growing resistance to trophy hunting in other areas.
“We need to expand research beyond charismatic and general types to assess the impact of recreational hunting on endangered and less charismatic species,” he said.
Reference: “Results of recreational hunting for biodiversity conservation and subsistence” Di Minin, Enrico; Clements, Hayley; Correia, Ricardo; Cortés-Capano, Gonzalo; Hausmann, Anna; Haukka, Anna; Kulkarni, Ritwik; Bradshaw, Corey JA, February 19, 2021, A world.
DOI: 10.1016 / j.oneear.2021.01.014.