7 Components of Conservation


For decades the people of the united states were hunting game in an unregulated manner. This led to millions of animals to lose significant numbers in their population. Fearing that this may be detrimental to the longevity of these animal species, men like Theodore Roosevelt, George Armstrong Custer, and George Bird Grinnell all realized that conservation efforts needed to be implemented before it was too late and the animals became gravely endangered or even worse, extinct. Over time, these conservation efforts turned into the formal model of conservation that we know today. Although we are all familiar with at least some aspects of this conservation model, what are the components of the conservation model?

1.      Wildlife Resources are Public Trusts

Okay, but what does this mean? In short, it means that wildlife is not and cannot ever be owned by a private entity. It is held in trust for the benefit of the present and future generations by government. This is the legal foundation by which federal, provincial, and state wildlife agencies.


2.     Markets for Game Are Eliminated

 Elimination of markets for game animals and nongame birds was an essential step in halting the declines of these particular species. It has since been held in principle that markets for game and nongame wildlife are unacceptable because they privatize a common resource and lead to declines. Exceptions have been made for furbearers because there is an active market in Canada and the U.S.

3.    Allocation of Wildlife is by Law

Access to wildlife has been an inherent part of the North American experience, unlike many other nations where access is reserved for those with special privilege (e.g., aristocracy; Manning 1993). Wildlife is allocated to the public by law, as opposed to market principles, land ownership, or other status. Democratic processes and public input into law-making help ensure access is equitable


4.     Wildlife Can Be Killed Only for a Legitimate Purpose

Many conservationists were concerned with the purpose for which people were killing animals. They stressed that people should have a legitimate reason to kill an animal other than the fun of doing it. So they came up with these concepts of a good sportsman:


• does so primarily for the pursuit or chase;

• affords game a “sporting” chance (fair chase);

• seeks knowledge of nature and the habits of animals;

• derives no financial profit from game killed;

• will inflict no unnecessary pain or suffering on game; and

• will not waste any game that is killed.

Following these guidelines is a sure-fire way to keep you hunting ethically and respectfully on all of your trips.


5.     Wildlife Is Considered an International Resource

One of the greatest milestones in the history of wildlife conservation was the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Convention in 1916. This was the first significant treaty that provided for the international management of wildlife resources. It brought light to the fact that the way we manage and regulate wildlife on our side of the border also has consequences for those on the other side of the border. These consequences cross borders so it is important for neighboring countries to work together to preserve these resources


6.     Science is the Proper to Discharge Wildlife Policy 

Science as a base for informed decision making in wildlife management has become standard in Canada and the U.S. Nevertheless, funding has been largely inadequate to meet the research needs of management agencies, and a trend toward greater political influence in decision-making threatens this principle. To find ways to donate check out our Which Wildlife Conservation Organization Should You Donate To? Article.


7.    Democracy of Hunting Is Standard

Theodore Roosevelt believed that access for all to have the opportunity to hunt would result in many societal benefits this concept was named “Democracy of Sport”. This sets Canada and The U.S. apart from many other nations where the opportunity to hunt is restricted to those who have special status, such as land ownership, wealth, or other privileges. The opportunity for citizens in good standing to hunt in Canada and the U.S. is a hallmark of our democracy.


If you are interested in learning more about the model of conservation and how you can help please visit Fish and Wildlife Service do get a more in depth look at the conservation model.


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