The BBC, having announced that chimps have “entered the Stone Age” (because they smash stuff with rocks, as do birds), has also announced that humans are unique super-predators. Actually, the point made is mostly a sensible one (for once):
The analysis of global data details the ruthlessness of our hunting practices and the impacts we have on prey.
It shows how humans typically take out adult fish populations at 14 times the rate that marine animals do themselves.
And on land, we kill top carnivores, such as bears, wolves and lions, at nine times their own self-predation rate.
But perhaps the most striking observation, say authors Chris Darimont and colleagues, is the way human beings focus so heavily on taking down adult prey.
This is quite different from the rest of the animal kingdom, for which the juveniles of a species tend to be the most exploited.
So we should shoot Bambi, and not his mom? Can they sell that idea?
Part of this is explained by the tools that human hunters exclusively can deploy. More.
Wait! Are there tools that human hunters exclusively can deploy? We thought chimps were entering…
Oh never mind. Human exclusivity is Correct Thought if (and only if) it contributes to alarmism and bad public policy.
The authors do make a serious point, insofar as taking out breeding adults has a bigger environment impact than taking out untested juveniles. But most enforced hunting regulations take that into account.
Then it all gets a bit strange:
And as for refocusing the age class to take more juveniles, Dr Carbone argued that it would very much depend on the species in question. Not all species would react in the same way. But he said there was perhaps an even more fundamental problem, which was the density of human predators versus their prey.
“We exist at vastly higher densities than natural predators,” he told BBC News.
Which is why we invented farming.
“It might be that 100 zebras could support a lion, but in the case of humans we can outnumber our prey in many instances, and that throws the system. So even if we didn’t have the efficient hunting technology, we’d still have problems with sustainability.”
But who eats zebras today?
What we actually have is a growing worldwide obesity problem. And most food shortages now are man-made. And most endangered large animals are victims of non-food-related poaching.
So none of this makes any sense.
Brits, quit funding the BBC. And don’t write back and say, Canucks, quit funding the CBC. We’re working on that. What’s most needed is a critical mass of citizens who sense the need for real news and the damage done by tax-funded nonsense news. For example, there are very serious issues around poaching, but the stuff linked above is a waste of time.
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