Nav: Home

Inadequate policies for hunting large carnivores

December 17, 2015

Many policies regulating carnivore hunting do not adequately acknowledge and address the negative effects of hunting on demography and population dynamics, authors of this Policy Forum say. Increasingly, numbers of large, terrestrial carnivores around the world are in decline, a phenomenon that holds consequences for ecosystem structure and function. Focusing on wolf harvesting in the western United States, the hunting ban for which was lifted in 2008, Scott Creel et al. highlight four ways in which current hunting policies do not align well with ecological theory and data. A clear illustration of this is in differences between states' estimates of wolf populations, where the Idaho population count decreased by 22.4% from 2008 to 2013, while the Montana count increased, a surprising result given reported decreases in wolf survival and reproduction at that time. The authors note that the result may actually be an artifact of variable routes of detecting animals in the two states; Montana recruited additional staff and volunteers to monitor the wolf population during this period. Carnivore hunting policies must account for different methods of sampling effort and detection, they say. The authors also highlight that while hunting policies follow borders, wolves do not. "The relatively constant number of wolves within the entire [Northern Rocky Mountains] has been taken as evidence that state-level policies do not increase risk for NRM wolves," Creel et al. write. However, it is important to evaluate policies, and their impact on wolf numbers, state by state. The authors emphasize that, although they chose wolves in the western U.S. to highlight, too often inadequate hunting policies for large carnivores extend beyond the iconic gray beasts of Rocky Mountains to other species.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Wolves Articles:

What wolves' teeth reveal about their lives
UCLA biologist discovers what wolves' broken teeth reveal about their lives.
Fearing cougars more than wolves, Yellowstone elk manage threats from both predators
Wolves are charismatic, conspicuous, and easy to single out as the top predator affecting populations of elk, deer, and other prey animals.
Genomics of Isle Royale wolves reveal impacts of inbreeding
A new paper explores the genetic signatures of a pair of wolves isolated on Isle Royale, a remote national park in Lake Superior.
Surprisingly, inbred isle royale wolves dwindle because of fewer harmful genes
The tiny, isolated gray wolf population on Isle Royale has withered to near-extinction, but not because each animal carries a large number of harmful genes, according to a new genetic analysis.
Wolf-dog 'swarms' threaten Europe's wolves
'Swarms' of wolf-dog crossbreeds could drive Europe's wolves out of existence, according to the lead author of new research.
More Wolves News and Wolves Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...