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Trophy Hunting: Why It Should Be Banned

  1. Definition of Key Terms: 
  • Trophy hunting is hunting of wild animals and displayed trophies
  • Whole or parts of the hunted animal kept and usually displayed to represent the success of the hunter
  1. Reason #1: Trophy hunting contributes to the endangerment of animal species

Humane Society International. “Trophy Hunting – Humane Society International.” Humane Society International, 2018, https://www.hsi.org/issues/trophy-hunting/ Accessed 14 March 2022

  • Tons of species will be driven to extinction because of trophy hunting, and some species already have
  • “Over the last 20 years lion population has gone from 300,000 to less than 30,000,” said Shandor Larenty, an animal trainer and conservationist at Lion Park in Gauteng Province, outside Johannesburg, South Africa
  • The organization Save Animals From Extinction reports “The population of African lions is less than half of what it was just three decades ago, and their populations have been wiped out across much of Africa. Unless we act now, African lions could be extinct in the wild by 2050.”
  • “In the 1950’s, the lion population was at 450,000. Today, the lion population has dropped significantly to only 30,000. Why such a big drop? The answer is simple. Hunting and poaching.”
  • ABC news writes, “75 percent of wild lions have been killed in the last 20 years,  and if nothing is done to slow that pace within 10 years the only lions left could be in zoos”
  • Therefore, since so many animals are being put at risk of endangerment which eventually leads to extinction, if we don’t solve the trophy hunting problem now, we will run out of time.  

Multiple studies have proven the dramatic effect of extinction and that’s not all.

“Trophy Hunting – Are There Pros to Go with the Cons?” Ranger Mac, 17 Feb. 2018, https://rangermac.org/trophy-hunting-pros-go-cons/ Accessed 13 March 2022

  • People trophy hunt for the bragging rights and money without thinking about some severe consequences. It doesn’t show bravery, it just shows carelessness and selfishness
    • “A few years back, for instance, a Texas millionaire paid $350,000 and won a bid to hunt and kill one of the last remaining black rhinoceroses in Namibia.”
    • Again, why do people trophy hunt if it endangers animals? – They do it for displaying the animals parts or making a big stuffed animal out of them all for bragging rights and money
    • More than 200,000 threatened or endangered animals are killed for trophies each year
    • More than half of the United States allows the hunting of black bears for sport.
    • Animals are killed too young to have a chance to reproduce

4. Reason #2: Not only does trophy hunting endanger animals, it has a negative impact on the environment. 

Briggs, Helen. “Trophy Hunting Removes ‘Good Genes’ and Raises Extinction Risk.” BBC News, 29 Nov. 2017,https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42152393 Accessed 14 March 2022

  • My partner will touch up more on this side of our argument, but briefly: killing the largest and strongest animals causes population decline which negatively affects the species and environment
    • For example, killing a dominant lion can leave the cubs vulnerable to other animals and mother nature
    • A Study led by Dr. Robert Knell at the University of London, England found that animals killed for trophies often have the best genes suited for survival.“They also father a high proportion of the offspring, ” said Knell. “But if they’re killed before they can spread their ‘good genes’ around, this reduces the overall fitness and resilience of that population. If the population is having to adapt to a new environment and you remove even a small proportion of these high quality males, you could drive it to extinction.”
    • We’ve seen a similar situation in Yellowstone when the wolves were killed off causing a tremendous effect on their ecosystem
    • To provide some context, EarthJustice, a nonprofit organization based in the United States dedicated to environmental issues states “after the wolves were gone, the bears and coyotes that were left weren’t able to kill as many elk as the wolves had done. Soon, the elk population skyrocketed, resulting in overgrazing, particularly of willows and other vegetation important to soil and riverbank structure, leaving the landscape vulnerable to erosion.” 
    • Wouldn’t that just happen again regardless of areas being “protected”
  • Some people believe that trophy hunting supports the environment because areas are protected for conservation and prevented from human development, and while some of the money from trophy hunting supports conservation, much of it goes to the wrong people and is not used for conservation
  • According to a 2013 study by Economists at Large, “…only around 3% of revenue generated by trophy hunting stays in local communities for welfare, education, and other community-based programs. The vast majority goes in the pockets of the trophy hunting outfitters
  • With eco-friendly tourism as a replacement, the whole issue could be solved. Whilst teaching people about animals, local communities get income areas that are still protected and most importantly, animals are too.
  • Micheal Markalean, Chief Program & Policy Officer, The Humane Society of the United States, “Are these animals worth more to local economies alive or dead? One African conservationist estimated that eco-tourists from just one lodge paid more in a week to take pictures of Cecil than the $55,000 that Palmer spent to put the lion’s head on his trophy wall. Over his lifetime, a living Cecil could have brought in $1 million in tourism.”
  • The Humane Society International explains, “They also do their sport-killing domestically: Bears, bobcats, mountain lions, wolves and other domestic wildlife also fall victim to trophy hunting, damaging natural ecosystems.”

Whether you are an environmentalist or not it is important to understand the impact trophy hunting has on the world and how it will end up affecting us. Like we’ve seen before, taking out one thing can change everything else. That goes for DNA, one deletion messes up all of the codes, and for animals, again, like we’ve seen in the wolves of yellowstone, one removal of a species collapses everything relying on that, the food chain, plants, water etc.

6. Questions the opposing side may have:

  1. In most African countries conservation is underfunded, and many areas simply don’t have the money to effectively manage wildlife without the significant revenue generated from trophy hunting.

→ If eco-friendly tourism was the replacement for trophy hunting, there would be profit which would contribute to African communities more than trophy hunting, and no human development since the area is protected. Ecotourism engages visitors with Africa’s biodiversity and culture, with a focus on preserving it rather than destroying it.

  1. Helps to protect many different species that wouldn’t otherwise be protected. If trophy hunting were to be banned, this land would likely be transformed to generate the most money having negative impacts on wildlife and reducing available habitat.

→  If eco-friendly tourism was the replacement for trophy hunting, there would be profit, no human development since the area is protected. Ecotourism engages visitors with Africa’s biodiversity and culture, with a focus on preserving it rather than destroying it.

  1. Income source for many people and african communities and supports government

→ It’s “fun” until it isn’t – if animals are being killed for fun or as a source of income, what about when they are extinct? Where do you get your income after that? Human Society International: “In eight key African countries, trophy hunters contribute at most 0.03 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and at most 0.76 percent of overall tourism jobs.” HuffPost, Micheal Markalean, Chief Program & Policy Officer, The Humane Society of the United States,“Wildlife-based ecotourism is a big industry in Africa and dwarfs trophy hunting in its economic impact. According to a report by the World Tourism Organization, wildlife-based ecotourism generated an estimated $34.2 billion in tourist spending in 2013. In Zimbabwe, tourism provides 6.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the country, dwarfing the meager 0.2 percent that trophy hunters provide.

  1. Conserves land and biodiversity

→“Research predicts that removing even 5% of high-quality males risks wiping out the entire population, for species under stress in a changing world. Animals prized by trophy hunters for their horns, antlers or tusks usually have the best genes, say UK scientists.”

  1. Hunting protects the land from human development

→  If eco-friendly tourism was the replacement for trophy hunting, there would be profit, no human development since the area is protected. Ecotourism engages visitors with Africa’s biodiversity and culture, with a focus on preserving it rather than destroying it.

          6. Provides jobs

→ The Humane Society International states, “Compared to trophy hunting, wildlife-watching tourism generates far more income to support conservation and provides far more jobs to local people.” “In eight key African countries, trophy hunters contribute at most 0.03 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and at most 0.76 percent of overall tourism jobs.” The common myth that trophy hunting has created 53,000 jobs is not true, Born Free USA states, “Trophy hunting only supports around 7,500 – 15,500 jobs in these nations, which have a combined total population of around 290 million people.”

Works Cited:

“Trophy Hunting – Are There Pros to Go with the Cons?” Ranger Mac, 17 Feb. 2018, https://rangermac.org/trophy-hunting-pros-go-cons/ Accessed 13 March 2022

Briggs, Helen. “Trophy Hunting Removes ‘Good Genes’ and Raises Extinction Risk.” BBC News, 29 Nov. 2017,https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42152393 Accessed 14 March 2022

“Follow the Money: Trophy Hunting Does Not Help Communities.” Born Free USA, 28 July 2020,https://www.bornfreeusa.org/2020/07/28/follow-the-money-trophy-hunting-does-not-help-communities. Accessed 14 March 2022

Robertson, Josh. “Trophy Hunting | Conservation Conversation.” Conservation Conversation | Wildlife Science & Media, 2010, https://www.conservationconversation.co.uk/trophy-hunting Accessed 14 March 2022

Humane Society International. “Trophy Hunting – Humane Society International.” Humane Society International, 2018, https://www.hsi.org/issues/trophy-hunting/ Accessed 14 March 2022

Top 5’s: Critically Endangered Animals in 2021

ThroPhoto by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Throughout the last five years, the populations of animals around the earth have changed. Some for numbers changed to good, and some not so good. First, to bring to light five animals that have recovered from near extinction since 2016; the gray wolf, the bald eagle, the gray whale, sea lions, and white rhino. Although this news should be celebrated, other subspecies have been moved to near extinction since 2016. Today, we highlight the the Vaquita, the Javan Rhino the Mountain Gorilla, Tigers, and Asian Elephants. These five animals are some of the most critically endangered species as of 2021. Another comparison to five years ago when only particular subspecies of tigers were endangered, it is 2021, and now the whole species is on the critically endangered list. Let’s look more closely into some of the most critically endangered animals this year and how you can help.

1. Vaquita: As of 2021, there are fewer than 10 Vaquitas on earth. At only around 5 feet long, Vaquitas are also the smallest endangered marine animal. You can mistake them for dolphin calves, however Vaquitas has black patches around their eyes and mouthes. Vaquitas are often threatened by drowning in fishing gear, and are on the edge of extinction if we don’t change our actions. But you can help, check out this website to learn how: https://porpoise.org/knowledge-base/can-save-vaquita-porpoise/

2. Javan Rhino: Only about 60 Javan Rhinos are living right now. Unlike some other rhino subspecies, Javan Rhinos only have one horn. Because of natural catastrophes, habitat loss, diseases, and poaching, these rhinos may not have many years left if we aren’t careful.

3. Mountain Gorilla: Like their name, mountain gorillas live in high up areas. They are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla, and have been classified endangered since 2018. Since then, the situation has gotten worse, there are less than about 880 left in the wild.

4. Tigers: Including the whole species of tigers, there are about 3,900 left in the wild. The Caspian tiger went extinct in the 1970’s mainly due to hunting and habitat loss. The South China Tiger may not be far off from going the same pathway as the Caspian tiger. There are less than 20 left in the wild, although there are a small population in captivity within China.

Top 5’s: Intelligence

Dogs are amazing pets when you spend time with them, train them right, and overall, take care of them, because they depend on you. Dogs come in different sizes, shapes and appearances. All dogs have categories they can fit into, whether its popularity, intelligence, or even the most powerful. We’re going to look at some of the top 5 dogs under our first category for this week, intelligence. If any of these dog breeds interest you to buy/adopt, my advice is to always check your local shelter for the dog breed you are looking at before buying from a breeder. Remember when you adopt you are saving 2 lives, the one you adopt, and because your have adopted, there is a new space in the shelter that has opened up for the next animal to take it’s place.

Intelligence

  1. Border Collie: Known for their ability to herd, and perform many tricks. Border Collies are lovely, but always need a job to do, these velcro dogs will want to stick to you forever and be your best bud. Though, when left alone for longer than an hour, they can become very destructive. And if left home for longer than 5 hours, they can become aggressive.
  2. Poodles: Loyal, affectionate and loving dog breed. Poodles are very smart and are a very good family pet. They are good with strangers, children, other dogs, senior citizens and even cats. Poodles are very popular nowadays for their low shedding and easier fur control with people who have allergies.
  3. German Shepherd: These large dogs are known for their work at police stations, and courageous personalities. German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs and are very territorial. Unfortunately, they were also bred to fight, and if not trained right, they can have a higher than average chance of biting someone. However, if you put in the time to train them and socialize them correctly, you may have found your dream dog.
  4. Golden Retriever: Very friendly, adorable and trustworthy dogs who love attention and to be around their humans. Goldens are very smart and can obey the first command 95% of the time. Like any other dog, you must train them right, so look into training classes, online or in person, and always socialize them from the week you get them.
  5. Doberman Pinscher: Doberman are fearless dog breeds, and although very smart, they aren’t the easiest to train. Although, if you are patient enough to keep working on these skills, you will have an obedient guard dog to come home to.
Golden Retriever
Doberman Pinscher
Poodle
German Shepherd
Border Collie

Am I Ready For a Dog?

Click here to take the quiz!

Take this quick quiz I created to find out! If you get 11/11 you are mostly ready, you should still do tons more research just to be sure! Sorry, to anyone scoring under an A+ (11/11), in the future, try again and I’m sure you’ll be ready! P.S I made a mistake on the scoring system for the “What Is The Reason You Want a Dog?” question, the answer can be “For emotional support and company”, that answer would be correct and automatically it is marked as wrong! So if you get a 10/11 and you chose emotional support just know your score should have been an 11/11!

Weekly Story: Plastic in the Ocean Dangerously Threats Marine Wildlife

Sea turtle with plastic in its mouth

Imagine you are a sea turtle, swimming around the ocean floor. You’re starving, and that little clear thing over there looks just like your regular diet, but it isn’t. When you keep on eating these pieces, you won’t have room for anything else to eat. So, what are those little pieces? It turns out, and those small pieces are plastic, plastic that can float around the ocean for centuries. All types of marine animals eat these little pieces that will get sick and even die. But, how did the plastic get there?

Most Americans do recycle, and although it helps, it’s not enough. You see, when you recycle, very little of what you throw away is reused. It turns up in landfills, then blown into the ocean. Mackenzie Carro explains, “Many creatures accidentally eat plastic, thinking it is food. With stomachs full of plastic and no room for real food, these animals can starve. Other animals can get dangerously tangled in plastic 6-pack drink holders or suffocate inside plastic bags” (Carro, 2020). Because marine animals are becoming sick or even dying from eating plastic, this is endangering species that disrupts the food chain and, ultimately, negatively affects the ocean ecosystem.

Plastic that ends up in the ocean does not disappear. Instead, it is broken down by the sun, heat, and water into tiny pieces known as microplastics, which are dangerous for ocean wildlife. Mackenzie Carro states, “Anna also learned that microplastics are very difficult to get rid of. They are often too small for humans to spot easily. What’s more, algae can grow on microplastics, which makes them blend in with other particles in the ocean. This is what makes microplastics dangerous for marine animals, many of which get sick or even die from” (Carro, 2020). Overall, when we throw things away like plastic, some is recycled, some sit with no place to go. Then toxins are released, which harm plants and animals, and trash on beaches and lakes also is very harmful to the environment. You can help by replacing plastic forks and spoons and straws with metal, reusable ones. Use cloth napkins to dry your hands, use reusable containers, and choose refillable water bottles instead of a disposable water bottle. If we all take these steps, we will have a better environment for us and the beautiful animals around us.

Weekly Story: During the Coronavirus Outbreak Tons of Animals Are Forced to the Streets

Puppies left abandoned on streets in Wuhan, China

Most people are aware that the coronavirus outbreak is a fast-moving virus with growing numbers by the hour. Over 8,700 people are infected and over 160 are dead in the U.S alone. While we are stocking up on toilet paper and canned food, we don’t realize that there are other lives at stake.

All over China, there are pet lovers. With the largest dog and cat population of 188 million, they have more pets than the U.S does. Like any other city home to animals, there are abandoned cats and dogs roaming the streets. While this issue usually is partly under control in China, since the outbreak, it’s not been the same.

With so many people in China with pets, when an owner falls sick from coronavirus, they go into quarantine with no choice but to leave their pets behind. This creates a massive problem for volunteers because while abandoned animals before the outbreak were hard to control and feed, adding more animals to the situation leaves many starving to death. Overall, by adopting or fostering, you can give these animals a second chance. If unable to foster or adopt, you can donate money to provide these animals food and shelter, which can be critical to the line of life and death. Remember to always look into adopting before going to a breeder. You’ll always have a good feeling knowingly you saved a life. If there were fewer breeders in the world, we wouldn’t have a pet overpopulation, which is a big part of this problem. Don’t get a dog if you aren’t ready, because we can’t afford to have more pets ending up on the streets. I will soon be making a quiz to see if you are ready for a pet.

Weekly Story: On the French Island of Corsica, the ‘Cat-Fox’ found recently may be a new species

Recently, a mammal with stripes on the front legs, and dark stripes on the back legs was spotted on the French Island of Corsica. It resembled a domestic cat in some ways, like it’s wide ears, short whiskers, and developed canine teeth. What makes this possibly new species interesting is it’s dense, silky coat, repellent to fleas, lice and even ticks.

You might be thinking about why it’s referred to as a ‘Cat-Fox’. It has the fox after cat in it’s temporary name because of their size in contrast to a foxes size is very similar. The Cat-Fox name is also used because of it’s large bushy tail, just like a foxes’. Pierce Benedetti, chief environmental technician of the National Hunting and Wildlife Office stated,”We believe that it’s a wild natural species which was known but not scientifically identified because it’s an extremely inconspicuous animal with nocturnal habits.” To sum it up, this interesting mammal could be the next new species.

Weekly Story: Gray Whales Washing up on the Pacific Coast

Did you know that more than 60 gray whales have washed up on the Pacific Coast? That’s not all, this problem has started from the beginning of the year. Why has this been happening?

Well, before we get there, we need more information on this problem. To start off, on Sunday, the Seaside Aquarium posted, “A 23 foot female gray whale washed ashore just south of the Sunset Beach approach Friday afternoon.” The post also stated, “A necropsy was performed but nothing too telling was found.” Scientists have pointed out that whales can provide environmental quality indicators. It means that whales can tell us a lot about what’s happening in the ocean. In fact, a recent post nearly solving this case was on facebook, it explained how whales could be exhausting their energy this year before they can reach the Arctic to resume feeding. This theory could be the answer, although it has not been confirmed, this could be an answer to this mystery.

Adopt a Pet, don’t Shop for One

 Adopt Don’t Shop

 

           Each year 2.7 million innocent cats and dogs are euthanized, simply, because too little people consider adoption rather than buying from a breeder. Shelters are constantly facing overcrowding because too many pets are being abandoned and found in terrible conditions roaming the streets. It is crucial that you get a shelter pet rather than a breeded pet.

In the first place, you aren’t just saving one, but two animals when you adopt. One pet freed to a new home, and the other to take its place while the money goes towards a good cause, saving more animal’s lives by giving them a place to stay in a good environment until they are adopted and brought home. On the other hand, buying from a breeder is supporting cruel puppy mills. According to the ASPCA, “Most shelter pets wound up abandoned or in shelters because of a human’s problem, not because the animal did anything wrong.” Additionally, when you adopt you are giving an animal a second chance, also helping it forget whatever trauma it went through when they were young. According to Lisa Fontaine of the Humane Society, “Shelter animals aren’t any more likely to be flawed in some way than pets obtained from breeders.”

\After all, adopting saves lives, and they are just as good as any other pet.

Secondly, you are saving tons of money and getting a good deal when you adopt. For instance, shelters charge adoptions fees, but considering legit pet veterinary costs, adoption can often save pet owners some serious money. To bring to light, there are more shelters than breeders for a reason. Even though 10,000 cruel puppy mills still stand, we can make a change with a single act. In another case, shelters often include vaccinations, microchipping, spay and neutering in the adoption fee, still costing less than breeders charge. Also, shelters have plenty of workers and assistants that can help you with any of your questions or concerns. Therefore, adopting should be your first choice for multiple reasons.

Although adoption should be your first choice, many argue about behavioral issues because of trauma when they were young. All things considered, a pet you adopt is more likely to be grateful than aggressive. Initially, many argue that pets at shelters aren’t purebred or “good enough”. Also, many people assume most of the pets at shelters are seniors or adults with health problems. Even though people say this is a reason not to adopt. Although, what they don’t realize is that 75% of animals in shelters are purebred and a selection of age and size.

To sum it up, even if you can’t get a pet, encourage others to adopt. You can also volunteer, foster, and attend local fundraisers. Donate money, food, toys as it all helps. We can’t let this huge problem keep going. Consider that 6.5 million dogs and cats enter shelters, 2.7 being killed in the U.S each year. Animals depend on us to take care of them, not to just abandon them. We can make a change. So at any chance you get, adopt, don’t buy from a breeder for many strong reasons that prove this point.

Related image
Works Cited

“Eight Reasons to Adopt-Not Buy”2019.peta.org.Web.March 2019

“Ten Reasons You Must Adopt from Shelters”2017.thisisinsider.com.March 2019

“Thirteen Signs to Think Twice About Adoption”2015.rd.com.Web.March 2019

“To Not Adopt-Is a Step in the Right path”  2018.blog.allpointsmarketing.com.Web.March 2019

“Top Reasons to Adopt”2018.www.humanesociety.org.Web.March 2019

“Why to Adopt Your Next Pet”2016.petsforpatriots.org.Web.March 2019