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  • Cited by 6
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: April 2011

13 - Ungulate management in Europe: towards a sustainable future


Management of ungulate populations: resource and conflict

As noted by Apollonio et al. (2010), the management of large ungulates in Europe is no easy task. There are some 20 different species, each living in a great variety of environmental conditions across their full distributional range; populations are increasing in nearly all European countries and, in consequence, they are having a profound effect on the ecological dynamics of both natural and human-created ecosystems of which they are a part.

These ungulates represent in themselves an immense potential resource – in terms of biodiversity and also in economic terms. More than 5.2 million animals harvested each year represents more than 120000 tonnes of meat, and a potential hunting revenue of several hundred million euros (Apollonio et al., 2010); in addition these animals have inestimable aesthetic and cultural value as country-specific carriers of a whole range of cultural and hunting traditions. At the same time, while they may be exploited in this way as sources of food and recreation, they may also have many negative impacts through damage to forests or agricultural crops, damage through heavy impacts on natural habitats (Chapter 6), as vectors of disease (Chapter 7), or through implication in collisions with vehicles (Chapter 8).

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