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Wildlife management

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Various species of deer are commonly seen wildlife across the Americas and Eurasia.

Wildlife management is a general term for the process of keeping wild species at desirable levels as determined by wildlife managers. Wildlife management can include game keeping, wildlife conservation and pest control. Wildlife management has become an integrated science using disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, biology, ecology, climatology and geography to gain the best results.[1]

Wildlife conservation aims to halt the loss of species.[2][3] It does this by taking using ecological principles to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people.[4][5][6][7] Most wildlife is concerned with the preservation and improvement of habitats. Techniques can include reforestation, pest control, irrigation, coppicing and hedge laying.

Game keeping is the management or control of wildlife for the wellbeing of game birds. It may include killing other animals which share the same niche or predators to maintain a high population of the more profitable species, such as pheasants introduced into woodland. In his 1933 book Game Management, Aldo Leopold, one of the pioneers of wildlife management as a science, defined it as "the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use".

Pest control is the control of real or perceived pests and can be used for the benefit of wildlife, farmers, gamekeepers or human safety. In the United States, wildlife management practices are often implemented by a governmental agency to uphold a law, such as the Endangered Species Act.

There are two general types of wildlife management:

Manipulative management acts on a population, either changing its numbers by direct means or influencing numbers by the indirect means of altering food supply, habitat, density of predators, or prevalence of disease. This is appropriate when a population is to be harvested, or when it slides to an unacceptably low density or increases to an unacceptably high level. Such densities are inevitably the subjective view of the land owner, and may be disputed by animal welfare interests. Custodial management is preventive or protective. The aim is to minimize external influences on the population and its habitat. It is appropriate in a national park where one of the stated goals is to protect ecological processes. It is also appropriate for conservation of a threatened species where the threat is of external origin rather than being intrinsic to the system. Feeding of animals by visitors is generally discouraged.


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  1. Potter, Dale R.; Kathryn M. Sharpe, John C. Hendee (1973). Human Behavior Aspects of Fish and Wildlife Conservation - An Annotated Bibliography (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. p. 290.
  2. M.E. Soulé and B.A. Wilcox (1980). Conservation biology: an evolutionary-ecological perspective. Sinauer Associatess. Sunderland, Massachusetts.
  3. M.E. Soule (1986). "What is conservation biology?" BioScience, 35(11): 727-734. [1] Archived 2019-04-12 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Soule, Michael E. (1986). Conservation Biology: The science of scarcity and diversity. Sinauer Associates. p. 584. ISBN 0878937951. ISBN 978-0-87893-795-0 (hardcover).
  5. Hunter, M. L. (1996). Fundamentals of conservation biology. Blackwell Science Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts., ISBN 0-86542-371-7.
  6. Groom, M.J., Meffe, G.K. and Carroll, C.R. (2006) Principles of conservation biology. (3rd ed). Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. ISBN 0-87893-518-5
  7. van Dyke, Fred (2008). Conservation biology: foundations, concepts, applications. 2nd ed (hardcover ed.). Springer Verlag. pp. 478. ISBN 978-1-4020-6890-4.