Hunting as a crime? A cautionary note concerning how ecological biodiversity and anti-hunting arguments contribute to harms against indigenous peoples and the rural poor


  • Michael J. Lynch University of South Florida
  • Leo J. Genco University of Tampa


cultural understanding, green criminology, indigenous people, hunting crimes


This article examines concerns related to hunting (and fishing) regulations that impact the ability of poor and indigenous peoples to engage in behaviors such as hunting that they require for subsistence needs. Often, green and conservation criminological research, theory and policy overlook this issue. Typically, those approaches favor hunting/fishing legislation and bans to preserve widlife and biodiversity, or for philosophical reasons related to preventing harms against wildlife. Although those approaches may, in some cases, help preserve widlife and biodiversity, the unintended consequences of anti-hunting policies on the poor and indigenous peoples, who are also often the rural poor, are overlooked. Moreover, anti-hunting/fishing policies are not the best method for preserving  biodiversity. Rather, policies should promote regulation of forest and other wild areas, prohibit forest segmentation, and address how
economic forces drive the forms of ecological destruction that lead to biodiversity loss.

Author Biographies

Michael J. Lynch, University of South Florida

Michael J. Lynch is professor and director of the graduate program, department of criminology, University of South Florida. He is recognized as the founder of green criminology, and a primary contributor to political economic green (PEG-C) criminology. His research also examines environmental (in)justice, environmental sociology, marxist ecology, radical criminology, corporate crime and its control, an racial biases in criminal justice processes.  He is the author/editor of approximately two dozen books, and 200 journal articles and book chapters. He is the recipient of two lifetime achievement awards for scholarship from two American Society of Criminology Divisions: the Division on White Collar and Corporate Crime, and the Division on Critical Criminology and Social Justice.

Leo J. Genco, University of Tampa

Leo J. Genco, is an assistant teaching professor at the University of Tampa. His current research is focused on the structural correlates of crimes against animals, and the geography of hunting violations. His earlier publications have assessed the effectiveness of animal abuse registries and federal government enforcement of animal welfare regulations.






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