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Chapter 9 - Wildlife Conservation

Turkey Release

Wildlife conservation is the wise use and management of natural resources, without wasting them or exploiting them. It regards wildlife as a renewable resource, which properly managed, replenishes themselves indefinitely. This is in contrast to wildlife preservation which is the saving of natural resources without any consumptive use of them.

North American Model - is a concept that evolved through the early decades of the 20th century. It has guided the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources in North America. There are seven core principles:

  1. Wildlife is held in public trust- in 1842 the Supreme Court ruled in Martin v. Waddell that wildlife resources are not owned by an individual, but rather are to be held in trust by government for the benefit of present and future generations. Set the foundation in U.S. common law for future laws governing wildlife.
  2. Prohibition of market hunting and elimination of markets for game.
  3. Allocation of wildlife by democratic rule of law- all citizens have the right of access by law and can participate in developing systems of wildlife conservation and use.
  4. Wildlife should only be taken by legal and ethical means, for legitimate, non-frivolous use, in the spirit of “fair chase.” This includes uses for food and fur, or in the act of self-defense and property protection.
  5. Wildlife is considered an international resource. Treaties between US, Canada and Mexico recognize the migratory nature of certain species. The Fur Seal Treaty of 1911 and Migratory Bird Protection Act of 1916 are early examples.
  6. Science based management used for the development of wildlife conservation policy.
  7. Democracy of hunting and angling opportunity- accessible to citizens of all social classes.

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