While it is true that because of over-hunting and poaching, several species of animals are now extinct, there is still a silver lining in that dark cloud. At least here in the United States several laws have been passed to not only protect certain species, but we also have very strict laws in effect to regulate “legal” hunting to insure the proliferation of predator and prey animals.
According to the World Animal Foundation:
“In just the past 40 years, nearly 52 percent of the planet’s wildlife species have been eliminated. The leading cause of these shocking declines is irresponsible and unethical human activities. In addition to the devastating consequences of deforestation, animal agriculture, development, and environmental pollution, the wildlife trade is playing a major role in species extinction. Poaching, which involves the illegal killing, hunting and capturing of wild animals for sale, is the biggest threat to wildlife after habitat destruction. Poaching is hunting without legal permission. The difference between poaching and hunting is the law.”
But, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation here are just a few reasons why “legal” hunting IS “conservation”:
Reason No. 1 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1907, only 41,000 elk remained in North America. Thanks to the money and hard work invested by hunters to restore and conserve habitat, today there are more than 1 million.
Reason No. 2 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 500,000 whitetails remained. Thanks to conservation work spearheaded by hunters, today there are more than 32 million.
Reason No. 3 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 100,000 wild turkeys remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are over 7 million.
Reason No. 4 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1901, few ducks remained. Thanks to hunters’ efforts to restore and conserve wetlands, today there are more than 44 million.
Reason No. 5 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1950, only 12,000 pronghorn remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are more than 1.1 million.
Reason No. 6 why Hunting Is Conservation: Habitat, research and wildlife law enforcement work, all paid for by hunters, help countless non-hunted species.
Reason No. 7 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through state licenses and fees, hunters pay $796 million a year for conservation programs.*
Reason No. 8 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through donations to groups like RMEF, hunters add $440 million a year to conservation efforts.*
What ever your stance on the subject, I think we can all agree, that unless certain other nations get on board with conservation programs, we will see more animal species disappear off the face of the earth. I don’t think I need to remind anyone, that unless every effort is made to protect endangered species, we (meaning humans) will be the lesser for it. Because once a species is gone, there’s no coming back.