Celebrating 70 Years

Non-hunting Impacts on Wildlife

  • 16 Feb 2015 12:32 PM
    Message # 3227251
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi All,

    Just posted this on another professional networking forum regarding recent research documenting the impacts of non-hunters/fishermen on wildlife:

    Public awareness of the impact of recreational uses of the land, particularly by non-consumptive users, is very important.  I, a few state biologists, and others have been documenting and communicating this to local communities for 20 years.  In particular for me, an avid bird hunter and fisherman, hunters and fishers are often berated by non-consumptive users for our "impact" and yet the non-consumptive disturbances often have a higher impact because hunting and fishing are in  most cases scientifically managed around the times and places when/where fish and wildlife can best handle the impacts.  Whereas, many non-consumptive uses (and I am generalizing a bit here...I know) are essentially not regulated year around.  Bird watching, for example, during the spring has large impact on breeding passerine species that are continually disturbed by folks "pishing" through the woods.  Decreased fledgeling rate has far greater impact on survival than harvest of individuals of health populations during the winter.  In addition, non-consumptive users have generally been less willing to pay (e.g., for licenses, parking fees, etc.) to play, though this seems to be changing a bit...and more awareness of the non-consumptive recreational impact will help folks to understand their impact and be willing to pay for the human and fish/wildlife management.  And yet, in all of this, we need to remember that we humans are natural too and our impact on some species is not so dissimilar from impacts of non-human species on other species.  Just need to keep the scale of impacts managed as well as possible.

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