Botswana Ban On Lion Hunting Still in Force

Lion hunting in Botswana remains prohibited 12 months after government decided to stop awarding hunting licenses last year.

Dr Trevor Mmopelwa, the Director of Wildlife in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism did not say when the ban will be lifted.

"The lifting of the ban on hunting cannot be predetermined. It will depend on the rate of build up of the lion population," he said.

"Research to date, indicates that while the lion population in Botswana remains fairly satisfactory, in certain areas near protected areas, notably Khutse Game Reserve, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, conflict between humans and predators is on the rise.

It is in these areas that the number of lions being killed has caused concern. Several mitigation measures, including fencing, are being considered to reduce the conflict," Mmopelwa explained.

He said the suspension of lion hunting has allowed his Department an opportunity to focus its resources on the challenge of the loss of lions in defence of livestock.

"Lions continue to be killed as problem animals in certain hotspot areas. Research being undertaken in these areas suggests that comprehensive strategies are needed to address this problem.

The department is currently finalising the Predator Management Strategy, which will holistically address predator conservation and management throughout Botswana. The issue of utilisation of large carnivores including lions will be addressed in the context of the strategy," Mmopelwa said.

Source: AllAfrica.com