Opinion: When to hunt the rare

Hunting can generate revenue to boost conservation efforts, but when should it be allowed for endangered populations?

Gary Luck
Feb 21, 2011
Last August, gray wolf populations in Idaho were returned to the protection of the Endangered Species Act after a trial hunting season from September 2009 to March 2010 resulted in the killing of 188 wolves. Across the Atlantic, Sweden conducted the first wolf hunt in 45 years, allowing hunters to kill 27 wolves in January 2010 out of a total population of around 200. Landowners perceive wolves as a major threat to livestock and the motivation for these hunts is to control growing wolf populations. Yet, wolf hunting is controversial as many populations are protected under environmental legislation. So when, if ever, is it appropriate to hunt rare species?
Image: Wikimedia commons, Gary Kramer
Humans have been hunting wildlife for millennia. Today, wildlife is hunted for food or other commercial products (e.g. fur or medicine), to limit negative impacts on human livelihoods, or for recreation. But such activities must be...
linkurl:Gary Luck;http://f1000.com/thefaculty/member/5467778464957864 is an associate professor at the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University in Albury, NSW, Australia, and an F1000 member since 2004.
The Wolf's Tooth




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