Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Predicting the evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting on a quantitative trait

  • Author(s): Coulson, T
  • Schindler, S
  • Traill, L
  • Kendall, BE
  • et al.

Published Web Location

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.21261
No data is associated with this publication.
Abstract

© The Wildlife Society, 2017 Some ecologists suggest that trophy hunting (e.g., harvesting males with a desirable trait above a certain size) can lead to rapid phenotypic change, which has led to an ongoing discussion about evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting. Claims of rapid evolution come from the statistical analyses of data, with no examination of whether these results are theoretically plausible. We constructed simple quantitative genetic models to explore how a range of hunting scenarios affects the evolution of a trophy such as horn length. We show that trophy hunting does lead to trophy evolution defined as change in the mean breeding value of the trait. However, the fastest rates of phenotypic change attributable to trophy hunting via evolution that are theoretically possible under standard assumptions of quantitative genetics are 1–2 orders of magnitude slower than the fastest rates of phenotypic change reported from statistical analyses. Our work suggests a re-evaluation of the likely evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting would be appropriate when setting policy. Our work does not consider the ethical or ecological consequences of trophy hunting. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item