Game Management Science

Game Management Science


the study of methods of game management that ensure the rational use of wildlife. It was established as an independent science in the early 20th century.

Modern game management science is concerned with four basic areas of study: the biological bases of hunting, hunting technology, commercial hunting, and the economics and organization of hunting. The first area of study deals with the classification of hunting grounds, game-in-season control, determination of the number of commercial game animals on preserves, expansion of hunting grounds, implementation of biotechnical measures to improve the productivity of game animals, acclimatization and reacclimatization of valuable animal species, population management in natural conditions, and game husbandry (commercial raising of valuable game birds).

The study of hunting technology strives to improve hunting methods and equipment based on a knowledge of animal behavior. In the study of commercial hunting the quality of fur and meat is evaluated. Variations in quality by geographic zone are also determined. The study of the economics and organization of hunting is concerned with forms of hunting organization, that is, methods of administering hunting in accordance with natural and economic conditions and with the national traditions of certain regions.

Game management science is principally concerned with protecting wildlife, increasing the productivity of game animals, and improving the quality of game products. The most important methods of research include direct observation, experiments in nature, tagging, and analysis of animal populations by means of morphophysiological indicators. Game science management is closely allied with biology, ecology, ethology, botany, biogeography, biocenology, and economics. It applies the achievements of these sciences and enriches them with its own research.

Among the prominent 19th-century Russian zoologists and game biologists who made major contributions to game management science were A. A. Silant’ev, A. F. Middendorf, and L. P. Sabaneev. Silant’ev studied the economics and technology of commercial hunting in Russia. Sabaneev produced monographs on such major wildlife species as the sable, capercaillie, black grouse, and hazel hen. More recent research on game fauna has been conducted by many Soviet scientists, including S. I. Ognev, V. la. Generozov, M. A. Menzbir, B. M. Zhitkov, D. K. Solov’-ev, S. A. Baturlin, A. N. Formozov, N. P. Naumov, S. P. Nau-mov, P. A. Manteifel’, and B. A. Kuznetsov.

Research in game management science is conducted by the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Game Management and Animal Breeding, biological and zoological institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the Central Laboratory of Hunting and Game Preserves of the Central Administration for Hunting of the RSFSR, and state game preserves. The most highly qualified game biologists are trained at the Irkutsk and Kirov agricultural institutes; researchers of intermediate qualification are trained at the Moscow, Irkutsk, and Yakutsk fur technicums.

Game management is developing as an applied science in many countries, especially those of Europe and North America. The largest international organization of game biologists is the International Union of Game Biologists, which was organized in 1953 and is convened every two years.


Solov’ev, D. K. Osnovy okhotovedeniia, parts 1–5. Petrograd-Moscow, 1922–29.
Okhotovedenie, vols. 1–2. Edited by V. F. Gavrin. Kirov, 1970–71.