While on a surface level, hunting may not seem like it is good for wildlife. But once you dig a bit deeper, you may be shocked to learn it is vital to the ecosystem. And new research has confirmed this.
According to the research, hunting helps prevent overpopulation. In turn, this helps lower the amount of competition that animals will contend against during the winter months. Otherwise, more animals may end up starving to death because food is too scarce.
If done correctly, you can actually end up with a larger population by the end of winter, but it’s a fine line. Hunting quotas need to be carefully calculated and hunters need to abide by them. Otherwise, the populations could end up worse off.
Let’s take a look at the positive impacts that hunting has on an ecosystem.
Hunting Wildlife Prevents Overpopulation
I touched on this, but this is a very important point.
Overpopulation doesn’t just impact that species or other wildlife populations. It directly affects humanity.
For example, consider deer populations for a minute. Deer have a bad habit of crossing roads and highways, especially at night. This is a critical threat to the driver’s life and those who may follow behind.
Even if the crash causes no injury to the driver, it can just outright total a car.
You might think that this is pretty rare, but it actually isn’t. Each year in America, 1.23 million car incidents involve deer. Over 200 lives are lost in these accidents, and this is just one example.
Even smaller animals that make their way onto roads can lead to costly repairs, not to mention hiring workers to remove these carcasses from the side of the road.
It’s also worth highlighting the property damage some wildlife can inflict. The bottom line is when a population gets too large, it can have serious consequences for that species, other species, and humanity.
It Helps Lower the Demand For Store Bought Meat
Now this one might sound insane, but hear me out.
Meat production is a massive industry that is having a huge impact on climate change. Rasing those animals takes land, water, growth hormones, packaging materials, and much more. It’s a huge emissions source, to say the least.
Hunting wildlife can provide a lot of meat that will keep hunters from visiting that store. Thus lowering the total demand.
Obviously, you can argue that they are indeed eating meat. However, they are eating venison that they hunted themselves instead of store-bought beef. Or eating a duck instead of a chicken
Or, you may have a family tradition of hunting the turkey for Thanksgiving.
In some cases, you might not even be doing the hunting, as oftentimes, hunters tend to share with their friends and neighbors.
It’s also worth highlighting that some hunters actually donate the deer so it can be given to those who are less fortunate. Thus, it can help support homeless populations in the area.
If Hunting Regulations Are Followed, Hunting Is Great For the Environment
Overall, as long as regulations are respected by hunters, hunting is a very healthy activity for an ecosystem. And there is a proven track record for populations coming back stronger than ever after a hunting season.
That said, regulations need to be created carefully. If not, it can be devastating to the species.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.