The following is Paul's "concise and erudite rejoinder", as I had hoped,
to my suggestion that wildlife harvesting can be beneficial when/if it
increases the perceived value of a species to society at large. Can
anyone think of a demonstrated example to back up my point? What about
emu harvesting or the wetlands conservation done in the name of duck
shooting? Please note that I'm playing devil's advocate here.
Paul Peake wrote:
> Thanks for the reply. I too have heard this argument often. What I
> haven't heard is any examples to support it. And, indeed, the examples
> which refute it include some of the most appalling examples of humanity's
> environmental vandalism - whaling, much native forest logging (including
> woodchipping), the Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery, the Canadian Salmon
> fishery (I suspect there would be a lot of fisheries on a comprehensive
> list), the Dodo, ... I'm sure there are many more.
> When you do hear examples that supposedly support wildlife harvesting for
> conservation, it is important to remember that the onus on these arguments
> is to demonstrate a biodiversity conservation benefit, not the absence of a
> negative effect. For example, I guess proponents of Short-tailed
> Shearwater harvesting (I should point out here that I know almost nothing
> about this industry and, therefore, have no particular opinion on it beyond
> my general scepticism of wildlife harvesting - it's just an example) point
> out that this species is one of the most numerous birds in the world. This
> may well be the case, but my guess is that it is one of the most numerous
> of birds in spite of, rather than because of harvesting.
> The essence of the problem, I suspect, is the compromises that are
> inevitably made on the best-made plans for 'careful management' when
> people's short-term livelihoods depend on harvesting. And the bigger the
> industry, the bigger the compromise.
Anne & Roger A. Green, Atriplex Services, Morgan, Sth.Australia
Environmental Consultants & Native Plant Nursery.