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