Title

Why the difference in the recreational hunting ethic between Australians and North Americans? An opinion with emphasis on ‘furbearers’

Date of this Version

2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Burgin, S. (2015). Why the difference in the recreational hunting ethic between Australians and North Americans? An opinion with emphasis on ‘furbearers’. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 72(5), 770-783.

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2015 HERDC submission

Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

ISSN

0020-7233

Abstract

Australia and North America have many similar cultural features. Yet, although North America has a strong recreational hunting culture, the sport is limited in Australia. This paper investigates why this difference may have developed. It appears that a major difference is the reason for settlement: Europeans were attracted to North America because of its abundant wildlife and the socio-economic value of furbearers already established, whereas Australia was settled as a penal colony. The colonists found Australia’s wildlife was scarce and unfamiliar, offering no prospect of socio-economic gain from hunting furbearers. With over-exploitation, both continents moved to conservation of their wildlife. North America developed a conservation ethic based on a social, utilitarian approach to sustainable management of furbearers. Australia embraced a holistic approach to conservation to protect biodiversity. The differences, therefore, result from zoological differences and not innate cultural difference.

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This document has been peer reviewed.