Wildlife Can Bear with Hunters and Hikers
播音/撰文 杰森G.戈德曼（Jason G. Goldman）
A new study suggests the best predictor of wildlife abundance in public lands is not human activity, but factors like forest connectivity and nearby housing density. Jason G. Goldman reports.
一項新的研究顯示，相比于人類活動，其他因素類似于森林連通性（forest connectivity）和附近房屋密度才是預測公共土地上野生動物數量的最好標準。杰森G.戈德曼（Jason G. Goldman）報道。
Public lands in the U.S. are managed with two goals in mind: protecting biodiversity and providing people with recreational opportunities, a chance to connect with nature. But sometimes those two goals are at odds—especially if recreation, activities like hiking or hunting, disrupts wild animals enough to alter their use of those landscapes.
Indeed, several years ago, a study done in California found that hikers had a negative impact on wildlife.
"That kind of sounded a bit of an alarm to us as wildlife biologists and as people who like to go hiking ourselves."
Wildlife biologist Roland Kays, of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and N.C. State University.
野生動物學家羅蘭·凱斯工作于北卡羅萊納自然科學博物館（North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and）和北卡羅萊納州立大學（N.C. State University）。
"We were pretty worried that if this problem was as bad as it seemed from that study, and was widespread, then there could be a real conflict between outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation."
To find out, Kays and his team enlisted the help of more than 350 volunteer citizen scientists, who deployed camera traps at nearly 2,000 sites within 32 protected areas in six different states. Roughly half of the areas allowed hunting and half did not. What they discovered was something of a relief.
"We found relatively minor impacts of hunting and hiking on wildlife."
It's not that human activities didn't impact wildlife at all of course. Heavily hunted species, like white-tailed deer, grey squirrels, and raccoons, were photographed somewhat less often in hunted areas. Coyotes showed up more often in hunted areas. While most species didn't avoid hiking trails, the predators actually preferred them.
But they did find something that had a much bigger impact on wildlife: habitat quality. The best predictor of wildlife abundance was not human activity, but factors like forest connectivity, nearby housing density, and the amount of adjacent agriculture. The results were published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. [Roland Kays et al., Does hunting or hiking affect wildlife communities in protected areas?]
And they suggest that outdoor recreation, a 646-billion-dollar industry in the U.S., is currently managed in a sustainable way, but also that protecting the scattered patches of wild habitat that remain in the U.S. is vital—both for wildlife and for people.
"Recreation, including hunting and hiking, and wildlife conservation, can coexist in the same place at the same time, and we can go out there and enjoy nature, enjoy the woods, hope to catch a glimpse of wildlife, without worrying about hurting the populations in the process."
—Jason G. Goldman
“狩獵和徒步等娛樂活動和野生動物保護是可以共存的。我們在外出享受自然、漫步森林、觀賞野生動物時，無須擔心這類行為會削減野生動物的數量?！?br/>——杰森G.戈德曼（Jason G. Goldman）