Author: Nicolas Jordan Deere
Date: July-August 2011
Chapter 6: Population Biology
Content of the Article: http://www.environmentmagazine.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/2011/July-August%202011/exploitation-or-conservation-full.html
The problem in the article is the uncontrolled hunting in Africa, especially the hunting-tourism industry, which harvests game species in a way that does not allow population sizes of rare and endangered species to have a long-term viability. The players are the humans because they are hunting species in a way that does not help sustain biodiversity and species. The humans are over hunting and are not taking into consideration conservation biology. The animal species in Africa are the ones being affected because their population numbers are decreasing and it is difficult to protect these species because of the lack of protected, large areas able to maintain varied, viable animal populations. Some solutions to the problem are to enforce laws that will ensure that only a sustainable amount of animals are being hunted and to have the government buy privately-owned land in order to establish more conservation/reservation parks that will sustain complex animal populations. In this way, animal populations can grow at a normal, steady pace and not be endangered and prone to extinction. This article helped me realize how serious of an impact humans make on animal populations. I feel more aware of the over hunting (that's unnecessary for the most part) and agree that extensive measures against illegal hunting and poaching should be made. This article relates back to AP Environmental Science because like in the case study of chapter 6, animals from Africa are being over hunted (too fast to reproduce and maintain a stable population) and most are close to extinction. However, conservation biologists (section 6.4), are advancing efforts to help reduce the killing of species and protect endangered species. I have learned that hunters target animals with the best physical characteristics because they are seen as trophies, which only reduces the remaining population's survival chances (if the fittest individuals are killed, the unfit or ''weak'' ones are left), increasing their chance of extinction.