Culling overabundant wildlife vs the alternatives

‘If overabundant wildlife populations are not reduced by some means, the result must be death by starvation or disease coupled with extensive damage to other species in these ecosystems,’ say ecologists Charley Krebs and Judy Myers.

The killing of animals is abhorrent to many people, but alternative controls (e.g. capture and relocation or sterilisation) or the ‘do nothing’ alternative, all have costs – financially, environmentally and in terms of animal welfare (for the species of concern and others in their ecosystem).

However, wishing the problems will go away without doing anything is not a feasible course of action, according to the ecologists. They suggest using models to show the costs and projected population trajectories under alternative responses, to provide a setting for informed consideration of all costs and benefits.

For more information, see ‘Ecological Rants’ – ‘On Culling Overabundant Wildlife‘.

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