The problem of over hunting is of huge importance nowadays. There are a lot of people who sincerely believe that there is nothing neither immoral nor harmful in animals’ hunting. The real “men” take guns, whiskey, friends and go to the forest to shoot deer, boar, rabbits, and other animals that die for nothing. There is a stereotype, according to which, hunting is equal to the expression of courage and fearlessness. According to Sport Hunting Fallacy, “Every year hunters kill more than 130 million animals in the United States”. Due to hunting, a lot of species are endangered. “There are over three thousand endangered species in the world.” (Endangered Animals Facts). In many countries, there are protection laws for the species: for example, ban of hunting, restriction on land development, or the creation of protected areas. In fact, only a few endangered species receive legal protection. Most species are becoming extinct, or potentially will become extinct having not received a response in the community. Thus, unfortunately, “a number of animals on the verge of extinction are still being hunted for their meat.” (15 endangered species still on the menu). Hunting for pleasure causes deleterious effect to the environment. This very problem is called over hunting. Thus, over hunting can be defined as any hunting activity that has the negative influence on the population of the species. As for the growth of human population, the tendency of exploitation of natural resources can be traced. The bright example of the natural resources misuse is the demand for shellfish and fish.
Hunting appeared simultaneously with the development of people and changed along with it. According to Brief History of Hunting, “Our ancient ancestors have been hunting for meat, skins, feathers, and bone since long before the evolutionary arrival of Homo sapiens.” This kind of activity is different in its forms as well as the nature in various parts of the world. It is closely related to the climatic conditions, vegetation and, of course, the animal world. Every nation has its own hunting methods. Civilization, to a certain extent, erased these methods. Firearms sometimes appear to be more effective means than the local hunting methods and traditions, but the past hunts are alive in people’s memory, embodied in folklore, and reflected in literature and painting.
Hunting played one of the most important roles in society. The motivation of initial hunting was very simple: food, clothing, and defense against dangerous predators. This is confirmed by the history of its development. Back in the early Paleolithic Era, the main source of livelihood of the man was hunting on animals using very primitive tools. Numerous rock paintings in the caves give people a visible representation of the art of hunting (though not the oldest): group attack with spears, maces on large herbivorous animals, up to elephants and mammoths; hunting with bows and javelins on various antelope and deer; driven hunt; hunting with the help of ditches and pits.
Bone remains found during excavations of settlements of early Paleolithic Era indicate at the time of the appearance of the man, the amount of animal species, which were hunted, considerably exceeded the population. There lived also ancient heat-loving species such as elephants, rhinos, camels, except for antelope, wild boar, deer, elk, bison, and bear in lowland plains. It is known from the excavations of settlements of early Paleolithic Era that most primitive tribes killed large animals although their weapons were very primitive.
The sharp changing of climate conditions, high humidity, a large number of deep rivers, lakes, and wetlands promoted the formation of the Europe steppe plants that extend far south. This led to the replacement of heat-loving species by such giants of the animal world as mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, aurochs, giant deer, wild horses, and wild boars.
“Over the centuries, firearms, which had started primarily as weapons, gradually became more widely used by hunters. The “fowling piece,” or shotgun, and the rifle became standard equipment for the market gunner and “sportsman” alike by the latter 19th century.” (Brief History of Hunting).
With time, hunting was developing and hunting methods and tools were improved; nowadays, it is quite a popular kind of activity. However, the purpose of hunting is somewhat changed. According to USATODAY, “More Americans are heading outdoors to hunt and fish for fun, reversing a two-decade-long decline among adults.”
Over hunting has adverse effect on the environment. Fishing and hunting leads to the fact that people change not only the number of individuals of a species, but the evolutionary paths of populations. The commercial species of fish and animals suffer from the mentioned problem the most. In some cases, people dispersed the changes of the characteristics incredibly fast. According to In Defense of Animals, “Hunters cause injuries, pain and suffering to defenseless animals, destroy their families and habitat, and leave terrified and dependent baby animals behind to starve to death.”
Animals are participants of the supply chain. They are one of the most important components of ecosystem functioning. Man only violates this process. Human intervention often interrupts food chain and causes the death of entire species.
The spring hunting is especially harmful for the environments. There is no single point of view among scientists, conservationists, and specialists on the spring hunting; still, the vast majority of scientists and professional ornithologists oppose such kind of activity. Purely from an economic point of view, spring hunting is profitable. However, from the other point of view, it causes the following negative consequences. Birds exhausted with wintering and long flights are dispelled by hunters instead of vacation. They are under constant stress that results in total exhaustion and weakening of the body. Eventually, this leads to the reduction in the number of breeding pairs and eggs per clutch, thus reducing the viability of chicks.
Disturbing factor has very negative impact during the spring hunting. “Disturbance of wildlife can occur when human activity occurs too close to an animal or its habitat.”(Potential Effects from Hunting and Trapping on Aquatic Ecosystems). Spring is the period of mass reproduction not only of birds but all animals (for example, rabbits, deer). It is the time of forming of the territorial pairs, colonial settlements, and nests. The majority of birds are actively engaged in mating game. Shots, the presence of people and dogs scare birds and animals, disrupt the formation of breeding pairs and colonies of species, building of nests, etc. All this makes the spring hunting morally unacceptable.
For the purpose of sustainable use and protection of natural resources, especially animals, the government should establish certain limitations and restrictions on the time of hunting, methods of hunting, the number of produced products, etc. Hunting on animals and birds should be conducted mainly in autumn and winter period. The government should prohibit the use of dangerous or extermination tools of hunting such as explosives, poisons, traps, etc.
Hunting without proper documents in prohibited places, inadequate time, by using prohibited tools and other violations of the rules of hunting on animals and birds should be classified as illegal hunting, which entails legal liability of the responsible people.
The government should ban the hunting on all endangered species. They also have to create parks and nature reserves in order to maintain the endangered species and provide them with the full protection. According to Should Hunting Be Banned, “Hunting should be absolutely banned because killing innocent animals isn’t a sport, it’s a sick hobby.”
The issue of over hunting is not only the problem of the government. Everyone has to take at least one step to solve this problem. Why people should look up in the past in order to prove the absurdity and immorality of such action as hunting in the present? Ancient people did not have food, clothing, and dwelling. If humanity progresses, the progress has to affect all areas of life. Nowadays, people are provided with everything: they live in houses, heat the rooms, have food, and produce new materials. Thus, there is no need of taking guns and hunting on animals at present days.
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