Questionable policy for large carnivore hunting
June 27, 2022
U.S. wolf-hunting policies do not align with ecological theory or data Terrestrial large carnivores are in rapid global decline, with consequences for ecosystem structure and function. Among drivers of these declines, legal hunting is unique because it is intentional and thus relatively easily controlled. Although regulated carnivore hunting potentially reduces conflict and provides revenue for conservation, it can also drive population declines (1–5).
Some policies regulating carnivore hunting address negative effects on demography and population dynamics, but others do not. Here, we use wolf harvesting in the western United States to illustrate four aspects of policy that do not align well with ecological theory and data, and we suggest resolutions.
Author(s): Scott Creel, Matthew Becker, David Christianson, Egil Dröge, Neil Hammerschlag, Matt W. Hayward, Ullas Karanth, Andrew Loveridge, David W. Macdonald, Wigganson Matandiko, Jassiel M’soka, Dennis Murray, Elias Rosenblatt, Paul Schuette