Albania’s government is planning to ban hunting for two years. It’s a move that could decimate their wildlife.
Lefter Koka, Albania’s environment minister, blamed the high number of hunting weapons in the country, poaching, and his government’s inability to collect fines as the reasons why 30 to 50 percent of the legally huntable species have faced population declines. He said the a two-year ban is the only option to save the country’s endangered species.
“We have been forced to adopt strict measures to protect endangered species from illegal hunting,” he told the AFP.
The Albanian government is going to ban ALL hunting in order combat illegal hunting? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go after those who are breaking the law, rather than to enact a repetitive law that the illegal hunters are already breaking?
Banning hunting for conservation purposes — like Kenya did — can sometimes result in the opposite of the desired effect. On the other hand, strict game laws and their enforcement (I’m looking at you, Albania) can increase wildlife numbers and the habitat they live in. For example, look at the North American Model of Conservation in the U.S.
There were less than 30,000 wild turkeys roaming the U.S. in 1900. There are now more than six million thanks to the enactment of strict game laws and solid reintroduction efforts powered by … you guessed it, hunters! The same holds true for whitetail deer. Prior to game laws, whitetail numbers were estimated to have dwindled to less than 500,000. Today there are more than 40 million whitetails found in the U.S.
Think about it: These are the two most pursued animals on the continent, yet their numbers have grown exponentially despite a far greater population explosion of humans and human encroachment.
The complete opposite has happened in Kenya. Hunting was made illegal in that country in the 1970s. Today it is estimated that the country has 75 percent less wildlife.
If Albanian government truly wants to protect its wildlife, they’ll start enforcing smart conservation laws.