Debate "Housekeeping" (02:39)
Moderator John Donvan frames the debate and explains the debate format. Audience members record their preliminary votes.
Panel Members (03:20)
Donvan introduces the panelists who will debate whether or not hunters conserve wildlife.
For the Motion: Catherine Semcer (07:21)
Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants COO, Semcer believes wildlife is valuable and that factory farming is bad. She shares stories of poaching wars and how hunters conserved wildlife in Coutada 11, Mozambique, and reads the International Union for Conservation of Nature's definition of conservation.
Against the Motion: Wayne Pacelle (07:26)
U.S. Humane Society President and CEO, Pacelle states trophy hunting, sport hunting, and trapping are topics of ethical debate. Hunters go out into the woods for personal reasons, not because they support conservation. He cites collateral effects of hunting.
For the Motion: Anthony Licata (07:36)
Field and Stream Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Bonnier Corporation Men's Group Editorial Director, Licata states that hunting has protected wildlife and habitats throughout North America. Hunters provide 80% of funding for fish and game wildlife services. Licata cites statistics as a result of the Pittman-Robertson Act.
Against the Motion: Adam Roberts (07:31)
Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation CEO, Roberts refutes hunting as a sustainable repeatable model; the affirmative's argument basis is "trust us." There is no global justification that hunting conserves wildlife; he cites statistics on ecotourism and hunting in British Columbia.
Hunting Encourages Animal Recovery? (05:00)
Donvan summarizes the panelists' positions. Pacelle states that professional hunting lobbyists are anti-conservationists. Licata counters that hunters contribute $1 billion a year to wildlife funds.
Effective Wildlife Management Model? (03:11)
Roberts argues that hunters pushed black bears to the brink of extinction and then reopened the hunt once the species recovers; it is not a sustainable model. Semcer states that Roberts is obfuscating market hunting with sportsmen.
Hunting vs. Local Interactions (05:05)
Roberts cites reasons for the decline in lion numbers. Semcer counters that Fish and Wildlife found instances where hunting can benefit lion populations; conservation is not free. Robert states trophy lion hunters have a negative impact on conservation.
Pacelle states that Botswana wildlife authorities make more money from watching lions than trophy hunting. Licata and Semcer believe that hunting and ecotourism does not have to be an either/or situation; revenue distribution and habitat loss are factors.
Legal Hunting (04:16)
Pacelle describes Zimbabwe as a corrupt country and asks proponents if hunting a whale is acceptable. Licata states legal hunting is about following parameters; it is an acceptable part of the circle of life when it benefits the entire species. Roberts counters with statements about the negative impact of hunting.
Wolves, Endangered Species (03:53)
Pacelle states that hunters kill wolves for egos and trophies; there is no meaningful contribution to conservation. Licata reminds everyone that the debate is about regulated sport hunting, not trapping. He states hunters help manage wolf populations.
QA: Cecil the Lion's Age (03:52)
Semcer explains why she classified Cecil as over the hill. Pacelle challenges the justification of age. Semcer counters that wildlife agencies are the "greatest brain trust of wildlife biologists."
QA: How is Killing Saving? (06:37)
Licata states that conservation is about the population; Roberts counters that one animal makes a difference. Semcer concedes there may be a ripple effect but it is not a conservation issue; scientists agree that hunters help conservation. Robert criticizes the argument of listening to scientists.
QA: Nonlethal Ways to Control Wildlife Population? (02:23)
Pacelle states that ecosystems are self-sustaining. Licata states that ecosystems cannot be "left on their own;" hunters are a natural part of the ecosystem.
QA: Hunting Transparency (01:17)
Semcer states that she does not represent the hunting sector in Tanzania but the IUCN has been discussing the need for transparency.
QA: Hunting Predominantly for Sport (03:56)
Licata states that there are many reasons to hunt; the majority of Americans hunt for food. Pacelle counters that state agencies allow commercial hunting and trapping. Roberts criticizes the argument that hunters are natural predators.
QA: Economically Feasible Population Control? (03:51)
Pacelle states that wolves and lions are not overpopulated and control their own numbers. Semcer states that wolves are not a wilderness dependent species.
QA: Funding Conservation without Hunting? (02:14)
Pacelle states there are many ways to monetize the appreciation of wildlife; hunting revenue is declining. Semcer agrees and cites examples.
Wildlife and Legal Hunting (02:46)
Panelists share whether they believe wildlife would be worse off if legal hunting did not exist and why.
Concluding Statement For: Anthony Licata (02:52)
Hunters generate $1 billion a year, preserve millions of acres of habitat, and help hundreds of species. Hunting is not for everyone but everyone needs to work together to preserve habitats.
Concluding Statement For: Wayne Pacelle (02:04)
If hunters as a community had a deep commitment to conservation they would not tolerate the lead ammunition or exotic game hunting, and defend the Endangered Species Act. Hunting is not a socially beneficial enterprise.
Concluding Statement For: Catherine Semcer (01:50)
Semcer cites statistics of conservation efforts as a result of hunting funds.
Concluding Statement For: Adam Roberts (02:20)
Roberts reminds the audience of the debate motion and summarizes the opposition's main points throughout the debate. We cannot "trust the arguments of the other side."
Time to Vote (04:56)
Donvan instructs the audience to vote, thanks panelists and supporters, and introduces the next Intelligence Squared Debate.
Audience Vote Results (01:07)
Pre-Debate - For: 21% - Against: 35% - Undecided: 44%
Post-Debate - For: 26% - Against: 65% - Undecided: 9%
Credits: Hunters Conserve Wildlife: A Debate (00:49)
Credits: Hunters Conserve Wildlife: A Debate
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