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Declines in biodiversity poses a serious threat to human civilization today, and will remain so far into the future. In order to maintain species populations and protect habitat for wildlife, several national and international organizations have developed reporting guidelines for conservation of species. However, current methods of preserving particular species do not coincide. Conservationists believe that these lands should be set aside to be protected for the preservation of animal and plant species. Whereas the conservation model used by hunters funds a range of conservation programs, since it has been promoted as a form of managing that resource on behalf of the populace and to ensure the long-term sustainability of wildlife population. Each state has an agency that is responsible for managing its wildlife, which is an initiative to preserve species in the surrounding area. Conservationists, of course, would certainly take issue with the argument that hunting is unnecessary and has unethical approaches to it, but it is important to note that the combination of sportsmen-derived funds comprise between 60 and 90 percent of the typical state fish and wildlife agency budget. If hunting ends, funding for wildlife conservation is in peril, since it is dependent on the revenue that comes from licenses sold for hunting, trapping and fishing. Although the primary goal is to allow these species to recover, few species have actually recovered. Nevertheless, both hunters and conservationists will most likely suggest otherwise and would certainly take matters into their own hands. The degree to which the existing national framework of wildlife conservation has resulted in a series of agency specific efforts that are often poorly coordinated, and therefore fail to take advantage of specific outcomes. Both parties are examples of a coordination trap – when people settle on an equilibria that is not ideal. These conservation projects are currently managed by a community of people who have overlapping needs and goals, but rarely communicate on reaching a consensus in efforts to improve the efficiency of species’ recovery.
By any rational measure, these models need to be guided not by moral righteousness, but by common sense. There are many sources of uncertainty inherent to this model, including the use of outdated methodology. Linking the funding of conservation directly to hunting ensures that game species and their habitats will receive the majority of aid, and hunters wanting access to lands for hunting due to their investment in the tax. In a recent assessment, the United Nations concluded that Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival. The reason being that critical habitat designations and recovery plans may have the intentions of conservation, but designations to hunt are not always based on sound science, therefore leading to ecological disruption as well as skewed population dynamics. As society is changing, certain procedures must be adapted to meet certain measures and concerns. It needs to be ensured that there are regulations and policies that can better address the conservation challenges felt today. Therefore, other methods are needed to quantify for the uncertainty in this conservation model used today.
To address this pressing issue of the inadequate relationship between hunting and conservationists, it is necessary for government intervention to shift actors to an optimal equilibrium at lower individual costs. Some adjustments would include a large scale that needs to be managed in a way that populations will be sustained. Adequate funding is needed to effectively fulfill their vital role in conserving wildlife.
An increase in funding from the federal government is the foundation for conservation. The federal government’s investment in conservation must be sustained in order to translate today’s scientific findings into the sake of our biodiversity. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Services must make aims to ensure that the funding for the conservation of wildlife is not entirely coming from the Pittman-Robertson Act; rather, another alternative can be reached by placing an excise tax on other outdoor recreations (e.g. hikers, campers, etc.) as a principal source for federal funding to be allocated, since it will recognize wildlife as a public trust investment and overall help eliminate a free-rider problem. Some unintended consequences that can arise from this can be a decreased budget towards wildlife conservation funds, which can be detrimental in regards to a diminished land health and for species, and many conservationists would not be in par. Hunters would likely argue on the account that this public good is held in trust for the benefit of the public, so an unintended consequence could be that their preferred form of recreation is being held against, despite hunting being a former revenue source for wildlife conservation. Overall, the feasibility of this proposed policy can drive down support if funding initiatives are to go down.
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