Woodland stream.

Is Sport Hunting the New Evolution?

After watching the movie Old Yeller, or The Lion King, or the first time a beloved pet died, we all were taught the basic lesson that eventually every animal dies. It's the circle of life, after all. But what many people may not realize is that for wild animals, death from disease or old age is rare. Even being killed by another wild animal is not the leading cause of death. The majority of wild animals are killed directly by people. A study from the New York State Museum looked at the cause of death in over 2,000 wild mammals and they found that humans, primarily hunters, were responsible for most of the mortality.

While graphs and charts show us how many animals we are killing, we still do not understand the full impact of our actions. As the leading cause of death, humans are now steering natural selection and imposing an artificial evolution onto these species. The animals hunters don't like (the small, unattractive, and elusive critters) are the ones surviving to pass on their genes, while the large and healthy individuals are being exterminated. This truly seems like an all around lose-lose.



Copyright 1988-2018. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.