The Effect of Hunting on the Ecosystem

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While non-hunters may view hunting with distaste, the reality is that hunting is a powerful environmental management tool. In the absence of predators, hunting helps control wildlife populations. Left unchecked, wildlife populations increase, along with the risk of disease, starvation and human conflict.

Significance

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are 1.5 million deer-vehicle accidents annually, resulting in 150 human deaths and $1.1 billion in property damage.

Size

  • The Centers For Disease Control reports over 370,000 cases of tick-borne Lyme disease between 1980 and 2009, with cases predicted to rise in the future.

Considerations

  • Through the 1937 federal excise tax, hunters contributed over $5 billion toward state and federal wildlife conservation, for example, funding almost all Minnesota land acquisitions and wildlife research.

Benefits

  • Since its inception in 2000, the Venison Donation Coalition has collected more than 500,000 pounds of venison, distributing them to families in need across the U.S.

Lead shot

  • Bans on lead shot have reduced lead poisoning of waterfowl in the Mississippi Flyaway by two-thirds.

References

  • Photo Credit Jodie Schafer: stock.xchng
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