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Scientists say North American conservation model is flawed

[large thumbnail url=”scientists-say-north-american-conservation-model-is-flawed” filename=”science” year=”2011″ month=”06″ day=”20″] [thumbnail icon url=”scientists-say-north-american-conservation-model-is-flawed” filename=”science” year=”2011″ month=”06″ day=”20″] Newswise — Often touted as the greatest environmental achievement of the 20th century, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is anything but, say wildlife ecologists and environmental ethicists from Michigan Technological University and Michigan State University.

Writing in the Summer 2011 issue of the journal The Wildlife Professional, Michigan Tech’s John Vucetich and Joseph Bump, Michigan State’s Michael Nelson, and Canadian environmental scientist Paul Paquet call the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation seriously flawed. The commentary is the first critique that the North American model has faced.

The North American model has been around as an idea for about a decade, and in that time it has become quite popular among some wildlife professionals. The model consists of two related approaches to conservation: a historical description of past conservation efforts and an ethical prescription for the future. “One rests upon an inadequate account of history and the other on an inadequate ethic,” Vucetich and Nelson say flatly.

The model’s misconception of history gives recreational hunters the sole credit for preventing the ravages of wildlife exploitation caused by commercial hunting in the 19th century. It cites the efforts of famous hunters such as Theodore Roosevelt…

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