The essence of hunting and gathering economies is to exploit many resources lightly rather than to depend heavily on only a few. Small, mobile human populations subsist on whatever resources are available within their territory. They adapt to conditions as they find them, using what is already there. They hunt game--whatever kinds are available, adapting their life style to the conditions they face. In temperate and tropic zones, hunter-gathers exploit many different plant resources for food, fiber, medicine, soap substitutes, etc. It is not unusual for such groups to recognize and exploit several hundred plant species. In the Arctic and sub-Arctic, hunter gatherers are forced by the climate to rely more on hunting to survive.
Typically, hunter gatherers move seasonally to optimize different sources of food as they become available. A fairly large range is required for this mode of life, but human use of this kind and on this scale has relatively little impact on the environment.
|Previous Page||Next Page||Ag Rev Home|