Hunting & Fishing Regulations Have Serious Unintended Consequences on Animal Size

bighorn sheep photo

photo: Danielle via flickr

Ask 10 TreeHugger readers their opinion on hunting and you'll probably get a wide range of answers ranging from enthusiasm to horror. Whatever your beliefs on the matter, a newly published paper shows how current hunting and fishing regulations, which encourage targeting of larger individual animals, is having some serious unintended consequences on those animals not killed. Our colleagues over at Discovery News have the full story, but here's a snippet to get you going:

"Ironically, many hunting and fishing regulations encourage hunters and fishers to target the larger individuals," lead author Chris Darimont told Discovery News.

He and his colleagues analyzed 40 "human predator systems" comprising 29 species that included fish, hoofed animals, and even plants.

The researchers found that in 95 percent of cases, hunting by humans was the cause for decreases in body and horn size seen in many of the animals. In 97 percent of cases, hunting was also responsible for animals reproducing at earlier ages.

Read the full article: Human Hunting Shapes Animal Populations
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