Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hunting and conservation don't mix, right?

It's commonly held that hunting and conservation don't mix. It's counter-intuitive to think that the action of stalking and killing prey can actually help, however in certain cases, it can help and actually aid populations to be healthier.

Take the case of White-tailed deer in Southwestern Ontario. These animals are so common that local conservation authorities offer fact sheets on how to deter the deer from backyards. In fact, deer are so plentiful around this area that it's possible to walk through a forest and see no underbrush and bark missing off trees where the deer were forced to eat it.

In this case, where humans are responsible for eliminating nearly all predators and competitors of the White-tailed deer, opening a hunt season will reduce the population to sizes where the surrounding area can support the population without damage being caused to forested areas and without deer starving to death.

Now take this idea and apply it to Canada Goose populations in Southern Ontario, which are equally as plentiful and equally damaging to their environment. What would you do?

Deer image courtesy of smanstrom. Canada Goose image courtesy of njchow82.

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