International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems

Article Title

Benign Uses of Wildlife


During the Age of Environmental Awareness, which dawned in the late 1960's, Americans turned to using wild animals more benignly(or in ways harmless both to individuals and populations) and less exploitatively. The evidence includes: new federal legislation reflecting a public shift toward benign uses, growth. of interest in 'nongame' wildlife, growth of interest in wildlife watching (rate of increase in number of camera safaris estimated at 32 % per annum in 7 recent years), growth in membership of animal-interest organizations (rate of increase estimated at 7.7% per annum in 15 recent years), and growth of interest in animal rights. Per capita participation in sports hunting, an activity which long represented the dominant use of wildlife, is decreasing. Popular sentiment, as distinct from zoological and economic considerations, increasingly influences wildlife use decisions.