I have always been somewhat negative about pandas. In the harsh tyrannical reign of mother nature, it seems hard to imagine this adorable, fluffy bear fitting in anywhere. And today, Giant Pandas are now endangered, with only around 1,600 left in the wild and only 300 in zoos. Many people don’t seem very surprised by this fact, myself included. They sleep for around 16 hours a day and have a diet consisting of 99% bamboo, it therefore appears on first glance quite obvious why they aren’t doing very well. Although….they have been around for over 2 million years…why are they struggling now?
For many, the conservation of ecosystems and organisms by simply putting up a fence and letting nature do its thing is not enough. Most of Earth’s ecosystems have been significantly effected by humans for thousands of years. For instance, if there is a sudden decline in the number of animals on an island or area in the archaeological record, particularly of the larger animals, humans have probably arrived. We have been influencing and destroying vast stretches of Earth for thousands of years, we have just got better at it. Another example is America around 12,000 years ago. Hunters started using small lances and arrowheads when hunting and after that around 70% of the large animal species suddenly vanished. Spooky…
So anyway, maybe we can ‘construct’ ecosystems best suited for animals to live in this world. Maybe a large park full of large animals living in conditions similar to the long distant past…?
This is part two of a series of blog posts, click here to see the first post.
Most instances of trophy hunting found today are of individuals in camouflage with high calibre rifles lurking in the bushes, bravely waiting to shoot an animal from a safe distance. It’s somewhat analogues to taking a sledgehammer to a hedgehog, being neither an indicator of bravery or intelligence and in most cases appears to be the sad hobby of a quivering adult male suffering from a severe type of Napoleon complex. However! These people exist and perhaps regulation is better than prohibition, something that throughout recent human history has consistently shown itself to never work… This blog post is on the unnatural (or human) selection pressures of trophy hunting, particularly on one animal.