Renewable Resources and Wildlife Management
Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
There are two kinds of natural resources.
- Nonrenewable resources can never be replaced. Some examples are oil, natural gas, and coal. The earth has a limited supply of these resources. When these resources are gone, they are gone for good.
- Renewable resources can be replaced. This means that certain amounts of these resources can be used with no danger of running out. An example of a renewable resource is timber. New trees can be planted as existing trees are cut down. However, people must be careful not to cut down all the trees—only a certain amount can be harvested. Enough trees must remain for future harvests.
Like all wildlife, furbearers are a renewable resource. This means we can take a conservation attitude and regulate the use of these resources in a sustainable way. For example, it is okay to trap a limited number of beaver. The beaver population can reproduce and replace these numbers. However, it is not okay to trap too many beaver. We must regulate beaver trapping because if too many beaver are harvested, the beaver will become extinct.
Principles of Wildlife Management
Furbearers can be a never-ending resource if trappers follow a few guidelines. These guidelines are called principles of wildlife management. The purpose of these principles is to:
- Ensure that animals will not become scarce or extinct.
- Permit reasonable use of wildlife.
At any given time, a habitat can support only a limited number of animals. This number is called the carrying capacity. All animals produce a greater number of young than the habitat's carrying capacity. This results in a surplus.
The wildlife manager's job is to maintain the number of animals in a habitat at or below the habitat's carrying capacity so that no damage is done to the animals or to their habitat.