Belova, O. 2011. Game under Spotlight: Scientific and Practical Knowledge in Game and Wildlife Management in 2011. Baltic Forestry 17(2): 237-239 (Chronicle)

Game animals have assumed a very significant component of forest ecosystems in ecological, economic, scientific cognitive, recreational, aesthetic and other aspects. Since prehistoric times peoples are known to have hunted wildlife striving to survive, providing food, tools, clothing for themselves, protecting their shelters and later also crops. Some game species have gone extinct (e.g. aurochs, wild horse, wild cat, flying squirrel, wolverine, brown bear, European mink in Lithuania) meanwhile most because of their sensitivity to changes in habitats, less fertility, small distribution area, strict stenotopicity and less because of hunting or other direct elimination. The vitality and sustainability of the living system including forest ecosystems depend on their diversity as the system becomes more vulnerable if species diversity is decreasing. The long-term expansion of humans into nature has caused the deep and often irreversible environmental changes. These changes affect animals and their response to usual natural events, habitats, food, migration, relationship between species etc. To prevent the depletion of game species, their usage and habitats has to be managed. To understand the role of game in ecosystems, to determine, use game resources sustainably and protect them and their habitats, the knowledge and its dissemination is significant including animal ecology, their relationship with environment, mitigation of hunam-game conflicts etc. This problem is solving not only at national but also at European and international levels.