Time Limits on Hunting Protect Wildlife Where Quotas Fail

Around the world, hunting and fishing is typically controlled through quotas—systems that place limits on the number of trophies each permit holder can take. The number of permits issued and quota for each permit are based on population surveys from the previous year.

But, this system, according to new research, may jeopardize animal populations.

Outbreaks of disease, weather anomalies, and other variables can have a serious and difficult to monitor fluctuation in populations from year to year. Quota systems, a new study shows, do not account for these changes. Craig Packer, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota who co-authored the new study, explained:

Quotas don’t consider population fluctuations caused by disease outbreaks, harsh weather and other variables that affect animal abundance from year to year…hunters and fishermen can work harder to make their quotas when desirable species are scarce. The extra pressure can cause populations to collapse.
My limiting the length of hunting and fishing seasons, the chances of even the most dedicated sportsman bagging a trophy in a lean year is reduced.


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