Monday, February 2, 2009

Dollars For Wildlife Is Flawed Policy

Ashley Judd

It really amazes me! The traditional press that I look to for most of my news misses some of the most important pieces at times. This one about Ashley Judd's effort to save wolves and bears in Alaska surfaced online at HuffPost.

To think that that the legislator involved is Governor of Alaska is something I don't like and don't understand. That legislator clearly doesn't have the intellectual and scientific support of millions of biologists and national wildlife experts who devote their lives to this study. Wildlife experts and biologists do not ever condone animal bounty hunting.

The history of hunting animals in America for money is that it doesn't work according to this article called "The Realities of Bounty Hunting". Wildlife experts say that:

1) "the difference with a bounty for wildlife is that money, not wildlife management and recreation, becomes the priority of those participating".
2) And usually, "biologists estimate a population reduction of half to two-thirds would be required to produce any noticeable long-term benefits"
3)"another factor against bounties is how much they actually increase the normal harvest".

Some species will over-reproduce in response to a shortage, and hunters might travel out-of-state (or -country, in Alaska's case) to get bounties, when money is a driving force. Methodology is flawed and uncoordinated in this case and failure is sure to result. Scrappy efforts based on flawed research haven't worked in the past. Hunters, even those who would ordinarily promote positive hunting, sometimes violate ethical laws in an effort to make money.

My own personal view is that hunting isn't a fashionable or desirable form of sport. Maybe movie stars can help change legislation to save the wildlife of the United States from bounty hunters by calling our attention to it.

Update 1, 2/07/2009: Glad the press is taking this ball and running with it.

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