When sustainable hunting brings to light the hidden value of natural habitats
Comor, V., Boos, M. and Arnauduc, J. P. (2018). When sustainable hunting brings to light the hidden value of natural habitats. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107318
© the Authors, 2018
While natural habitats are usually regarded as lacking any economic value, as the latter is concealed, remaining outside of any economic trade, ecosystem services confer some value to land areas based on the services they provide for nature and people's welfare. However, agricultural areas, that provide explicit economic value to land, may do so at the expense of biodiversity, thereby limiting ecosystem services because of the lower species richness and abundance occurring there. Usually regarded as exacerbating this decrease, hunting can in fact improve ecosystem services where it is practiced, though it can also worsen ecosystem functioning and animal conservation when it is not practiced in a sustainable way and based on scientific evidence. Hence, by enhancing the conservation of game populations, the actions of hunters can benefit many other species from all taxa (including protected ones). In our presentation, we will focus on some relevant examples to illustrate a general framework of how sustainable hunting in France can act as a catalyst for game and non-game species. For example, the implementation of flower strips to provide a cover to grey partridges and the maintenance of ponds for water birds greatly increase the diversity of insects and birds that would, otherwise, merely be absent. The creation of game habitat by hunters, the improvement of its quality or the regulation of overabundant grazers at the request of nature managers, also enhances habitat quality for many other species, be they directly linked to game or not, thereby improving the overall biodiversity. Hunters also provide a plethora of data (citizen science) on population status and, if necessary, order etiological studies to pinpoint the causes of unexpected declines and, thereafter, act accordingly. Thus, by quantitatively and qualitatively monitoring some species and by collaborating with universities to promote practical habitat conservation actions, hunters contribute to population dynamics models. Therefore, when they collaborate with scientific institutions and seek to increase game densities (by planting edges, maintaining ponds, opposing the use of biocides, etc.), hunters also improve ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating and provisioning). Moreover, both the practice of hunting and the actions carried out by hunters aiming to provide game with food and shelter that also improve biological conservation in general, are environmentally and financially sustainable. This follows the guidelines of the IUCN that recommends the use of natural resources as an effective conservation method. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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