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Hallmarks of science missing from North American wildlife hunt management

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March 7, 2018 Simon Fraser University read full ScienceDaily article here

A study has unveiled new findings that challenge the widespread assumption that wildlife hunt management in North America is science-based….
…researchers…. identified four hallmarks that provide rigour to science-based management: clear objectives, use of evidence, transparency and external review.

…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.

For example, only nine per cent of management systems had an explanation for how quotas were set. Similarly, less than 10 per cent of management systems underwent any form of review, including internal reviews, with fewer than six per cent subjected to external review.

…”We are not saying that wildlife hunting decisions should be based only on science, as there can be important social and economic considerations,” says SFU biological sciences professor John Reynolds. “But the extent to which these dimensions influence management decisions should be clearly articulated alongside claims of scientific rigour.”

The researchers note that claims of science-based management would, however, be supported if management defined clear objectives, used evidence to inform decisions, was transparent with the public about all factors contributing to decisions, and subjected plans and approaches to external review….

Kyle A. Artelle, John D. Reynolds, Adrian Treves, Jessica C. Walsh, Paul C. Paquet, Chris T. Darimont. Hallmarks of science missing from North American wildlife management. Science Advances, 2018; 4 (3): eaao0167 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao0167

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