Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - 8

8

UNIt I

Introduction

FIguRE 1-4 tourists traveled

to the alaska Maritime
Wildlife refuge for a chance
to see these walrus.

Source: Vernon Byrd/US Fish and Wildlife Service

animals, either game or nongame. Broadly interpreted, however, the term can also
embrace uncultivated plant life. The key ingredient is "wildness."
A renewable natural resource is one that can reproduce itself. Fish and animal
wildlife are considered renewable, but this is only true while a species is alive and
reproducing. Since colonial times, 117 vertebrate species have become extinct
in our nation. Another 403 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and
fishes were regarded as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Department of Fish
and Wildlife as of late 2013. Thus, in one sense, wildlife species are not always
renewable, and they certainly are not inexhaustible.
Although wildlife is not as important for food as it was when the country was
young, it still is of value to us. The pleasure that wild animals, fish, and birds afford
us, the meat still produced from them, and their instinctive insect-destroying ability
(valued at over $1 billion per year) are all assets that they contribute. According to the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than $1.2 billion in state revenue was generated
in 2003 through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses, permits, stamps, and
tags in the United States. That is a very small amount of money compared to the
expenditures hunters and sports fishers made on hunting and fishing gear.
Until recently, the structure of wildlife conservation has dictated a program
especially for hunters and sports fishers. However, lately, a new aspect of fish and
wildlife management has begun to emerge in the form of ecotourism. This aspect
deals with satisfying the demands of the non-hunting and non-fishing public
for the pleasure afforded by observing wild creatures in nature. Thus, parks and
preserves are becoming more dedicated to this idea. They are concentrating on
the return of "nature" to such recreation areas. Aesthetic values encourage the
preservation of ecosystems in their natural states (Figure 1-4).
As long as the population of a species of fish or wildlife remains fairly stable,
there is little concern for its long-term survival. For such species, hunting and
fishing are acceptable forms of management. When the population of a species
starts to fall too low, it may become "threatened." Threatened species are those
that appear to be declining in numbers toward the point that the species' survival may be in danger. If the population continues to fall, it may be declared
"endangered" or "rare." When that happens, exceptional efforts are often required
to help the species recover. More in-depth discussions of rare, endangered, and
extinct species will be provided in a later chapter.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp

Contents
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover1
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover2
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - i
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - iii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - iv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - v
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Contents
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - vii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - viii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ix
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - x
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xi
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Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xxi
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Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover4
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