Wildlife Conservation in North America May Not be Science-Based After All


A study led by recent Simon Fraser University PhD alumnus Kyle Artelle has unveiled new findings that challenge the widespread assumption that wildlife management in North America is science-based.

He conducted the study with SFU researchers John Reynolds and Jessica Walsh, as well as researchers from other institutions.

In the study, published by AAAS Open Access journal Science Advances, the researchers compiled and analyzed all of the publicly available documents describing 667 hunt management systems. These included 27 species groups across 62 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. They also identified four hallmarks that provide rigour to science-based management: clear objectives, use of evidence, transparency and external review.

After applying these hallmarks to the hunt management systems, they found that 60 per cent of them featured fewer than half of the indicator criteria. In addition, some of the most basic assumptions of scientific management were almost entirely absent.

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Image via Kyle Artelle, Simon Fraser University