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CIC-Press Release: "Conservation in Southern Africa Benefits from Trophy Hunting of Elephants"

This is a discussion on CIC-Press Release: "Conservation in Southern Africa Benefits from Trophy Hunting of Elephants" within the News forums, part of the AfricaHunting.com category; CIC-Press Release: "Conservation in Southern Africa Benefits from Trophy Hunting of Elephants" CIC Headquarters, Budakeszi, Hungary There has been some ...

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    Default CIC-Press Release: "Conservation in Southern Africa Benefits from Trophy Hunting of Elephants"

    CIC-Press Release: "Conservation in Southern Africa Benefits from Trophy Hunting of Elephants"
    CIC Headquarters, Budakeszi, Hungary

    There has been some misinterpretation in the media surrounding the sustainability of elephant hunting in certain southern African countries. The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) has noted these misleading views with deep concern. The current conservation status of elephant populations in the region speaks for itself and shows the positive role of sustainable hunting, which is fully in line with the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1).

    At present, elephant hunting in southern African countries is sustainable. This has been demonstrated for example through the monitoring of tusks from harvested elephants and population surveys. Legal elephant hunting in the region is also in line with the guidelines and regulations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (2).

    The Southern African countries can justifiably boast the highest populations of elephants on the whole continent. Botswana alone has witnessed an approximate four-fold increase in elephant numbers in the last 25 years to around 140,000 - 160,000 today. Together with high elephant densities, especially in the northern parts of the Botswana, there are obvious signs of a loss of biodiversity, such as the destruction of old growth stands of forest (for example Baobab trees). If recent reports on significant decreases in the numbers of other wildlife species, particularly herbivores such as the antelope species, are correct, it is most probably as a consequence of the habitat change and destruction by elephants. Scientists have also observed widespread elephant range expansion across the international borders of Botswana.

    Some experts argue that "tens of thousands" of elephant should be culled in Botswana to reduce the negative ecological and social impacts. It has been stated that the present elephant population dynamics in Botswana can only be "controlled" by a natural catastrophe such as a serious drought or disease outbreak. Although commercial hunting for ivory has caused serious damage to elephant populations all across their natural distribution range in past centuries, recreational safari hunting as practiced for decades has never endangered the individual elephant populations. Safari hunting of elephants is strictly regulated within national and international frameworks. However, it is not a suitable instrument for population control.

    Hunting tourism provides a means for creating financial incentives for rural communities and at the same time raising their tolerance towards elephants, which are the source of considerable conflicts and damages. However, during recent times there have only been up to 400 elephant hunting licenses allocated annually in Botswana. These harvest rates are absolutely sustainable in terms of population dynamics, age and ivory weight of bulls and absolute numbers. (Editor's note VB: 1002 elephant were on license between 2007 and 2010; 753 = 75% were harvested. Even taking into account the fact that the 奏otal population' is not available for hunting since significant populations are inside parks, the number of elephants hunted relative to the overall population is very low. The data shows that the number of trophies taken has increased from 0.04% of the total population in 1996 to a maximum of 0.2% of the population in 2009). The low harvest rates are a result of current trends in the policies of Botswana, with animal welfare organizations pressuring the government to restrict safari hunting. The latest alarming news suggests that most of the hunting, except elephants, will be discontinued.

    While quotas for many game species are decreasing in Botswana, the number of elephant hunting licenses shows a steady increase, a result of the increasing populations and the number of mature old bulls within these populations. Reasons for the decrease in quotas for other species include both; natural factors such as population dynamics, but can also be attributed to political decisions.

    Footnotes:
    (1) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes the sustainable use of natural resources as one of the three pillars in the conservation of biodiversity. (CBD Home)
    (2) "CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival." (Welcome to CITES)
    This article first appeared in the e-newsletter of African Indaba. Get a free subscription.

    Gerhard R Damm
    AFRICAN INDABA
    Dedicated to the People & Wildlife of Africa
    www. africaindaba.com

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    Interesting article. Pity that some of the conclusions and recommendations are subject to political manipulation.

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    This article could be interpreted in different ways.

    It appears that the loss of habitat due to the increase in elephant population is resulting in plains game numbers loss.

    interesting in that they would like to reduce the elephant herd ... i wonder what they are looking at... an increase in poaching or will they let hunters in at a discount to Tusk-less elephants or to shoot cows and small bulls...or any of the above...and what numbers are they looking at...

    Time to get a 416 Rigby in the line up... or a 458...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    "Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne

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    I would like them to try to solve the problem by rewarding those who obey the rules, rather than punishing those who follow the rules. Poaching is a BIG problem that will not go away unless governments work hard at punishing the poachers. The easy way is to figure the easiest way to keep numbers up. The LEGAL hunting can provide benefits to the country, the species involved, and the habitat. But here I am preaching to the choir...we all know the importance of sound conservation practices...RMEF, DU and a lot of other organizations founded and supported by hunters have resulted in sound conservation practices which help targeted species AND the habitat. Just frustration on my part is that the history and results are not recognized by others!

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