Overhunting: Causes and Effects on the Environment


Before we learn details of the causes and effects of overhunting, let us understand the meaning. Overhunting, like the name refers, is the hunting or chasing of the wild as well as tame animals to kill or hold them for economic benefits or food. More often than not, it has only affected the wildlife and the environment negatively. Despite the harmful effects caused by this activity, millions of people across the world, still continue to capture, kill, or hunt down the animal population for their selfish needs and benefits. All these factors together contribute to overhunting.

Causes of Overhunting


Food, or more specifically meat, is one of the main reasons for hunting and it has been so for decades now. The activity of hunting dates back to the cavemen times where the cave paintings reveal people’s dependency on hunting for food. However, the cause of overhunting for food is due to its commercialized use and greed.



The extensive increase in population every year has led to the encroachment of the forests by the people and hunters, that have increased the poaching and hunting activity, leading to overhunting.  Learn more by checking this gun source.

Tradition and culture

Hunting is a part of certain traditions and culture across the world for various beliefs. The world is still contemporary in some format, and this has led to the widespread hunting activity in the tribal regions of the forest. For example, some of the tribal and ethnic groups living across the forest hunt for turtles and make soup of them, which they believe could make them stronger. This has caused the extinction of a species of turtles in Vietnam.

Economic reasons

It is no brainer that hunting for fur, and other byproducts from animals have taken a toll on their population. Apart from the raw products, many manufactures are producing soaps, creams etc. from these animals which have high economic value in the market. For example, overhunting of the grey whale for creams and lipstick has resulted in their extinction of the species.


Effects of Overhunting


Excessive hunting is the third most notorious cause of extension of animals. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 23% of the reason for the extinction of animals is due to overhunting and killing them for economic and personal reasons. For example, it has caused the extinction of the lemur and elephant birds in Madagascar.

Disruption in the habitat

Many forests have been cut down and taken down to a barren land or to build tall skyscrapers. This leads to the extinction of the animals thriving in their natural habitat.

Affects foodchain

Overhunting of one animal species causes an abundance of the other, hence leading to an imbalance in the natural ecosystem and the food chain. An imbalance in the ecosystem might have the environment.

How do we control overhunting?

Although we cannot bring it to a halt, there are several ways by which overhunting can be prevented for the protection of the endangered species:

  • Enforcement of strict legal punishments
  • Creating awareness

Ban products and well made of animals and their byproducts

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