A hunt for gold! Colour variant animals, to hunt or not?

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Flippie, Aug 5, 2014.

?

Do you support colour variants?

  1. Yay

    35.7%
  2. Nay

    64.3%
  1. Flippie

    Flippie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Member of:
    South African Wildlife Management Association
    Hi everyone, I'm Phillip from South Africa.

    I am a M.Sc. Zoology student at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, and I am currently doing my project on Colour Variants of African Antelope, such as Golden Wildebeest and Golden Gemsbok. Currently a Golden wildebeest is can sell for as much as 900 times (no exaggeration) more than a normal coloured animal.

    I came across discussions on other forums about colour variants and thought I would ask you all what your thoughts are on the topic. PHASA and WRSA snubbed me, I suppose they are afraid that I might not get the results they want. Although so far it is very 50/50.
    I would really like to know how many people would pay to hunt such animal; in South African Rand terms they are not affordable at all so currently they are basically only being bred to sell to other breeders and it seems very few hunts take place, have you hunted one before?
    Taking into account that most of the trophy record books have said they will not accept colour variants or won't treat them separate from the normal coloured animals? Would you pay a more to hunt such an animal? Would you hunt one even if prices drop?

    The thing is game breeders have a right (and they should) to breed with animals that gives the best return on investment (it just makes business sense), but many people fear these animals are a risk for long term survival of species (since the genetic implications are completely uncertain) and may damage the image of South Africa as a hunting destination.

    I am very interested to determine what the opinions of various stakeholders are on the subject. Therefore we created a survey to determine what these opinions are. I believe hunters provide a invaluable opinion since hunters are what drives the game ranching industry.
    If you want to take part this is where you can find the survey:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5QevQwTUuhNRXE0X2tEOXlGems&usp=sharing

    And don't worry about protecting my feelings or anything I want your candid opinions. But remember I am not pro or con colour variants I just want to see what the situation is.

    Thanks all, looking forward to seeing your responses
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,763
    Likes Received:
    262
    My Photos:
    93
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    100% who truly knows the hereditary complications that might arise down the line.
    This is exactly why we need gentlemen like yourself and a couple others in wildlife conservation.
    I must be honest the uncertainty is a major concern to myself.

    My best always
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    626
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    The threat is larger than you might suspect.

    KEETMANSHOOP – Three men appeared in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of importing and transporting protected game without a permit, defeating the course of justice and fraud.

    The case against Ferdi Engelbrecht, 42, Christo Jan Labuschagne, 29, and Pieter Johannes Wessel 46, was postponed to 27 September.

    Bail of N$15 000 each was granted to the three suspected springbok smugglers.

    According to the court records the trio allegedly anaesthetised 16 Copper Springbok worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and transported them over the border from South Africa, hiding the animals under lucerne in the back of a truck.

    The truck was apparently fully packed with lucerne and a mall corridor was created underneath the lucerne where the anaesthetised animals were kept.

    Police at Keetmanshoop received a tip-off from an anonymous informer and they followed the truck from the border up to the Keetmanshoop weigh bridge where the trio was arrested and the truck impounded.

    Four of the valuable animals died during the trip from South Africa, while police destroyed the rest of the scarce and protected animals.

    New Era understands that at a recent auction in Namibia, Copper Springbok were sold for more than N$100 000 each.

    It is reported that the import of game such as the Copper Springbok from South Africa is illegal and prohibited.


    http://www.newera.com.na/2014/07/29/suspected-springbok-smugglers-in-court/


    Concerns
    http://www.africahunting.com/thread...h-major-conservation-risks.16381/#post-130390


    Other discussions on the subject:

    http://www.africahunting.com/thread...ringbok-grand-slam-genetic-manipulation.7133/

    http://www.africahunting.com/threads/next-designer-trophy.8811/page-2
    http://www.africahunting.com/threads/white-kudu.7623/#post-51626
     
  4. Sable123

    Sable123 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Okavango Delta
    Member of:
    ECGMA, PHASA
    Hi Flippie,
    Thanks for bringing this to light.

    I also studied at UFS, did a Hons. Wildlife Management. And while there we were taught the basic principle of conservation: "If it pays...it stays!" Which although a bit blunt does seem to sum up the issue of colour variants. Your right, the price of these animals is astronomical and for good reason, there is a demand and the supply can only meet so much of it. I have not seen too many hunts of these variants and I believe it is because the industry is still in the early stages of breeding the variations to meet both a hunting demand and breeding demand. I guess that once the numbers of bred colour variation animals increases, the price for them will lower accordingly.
    Animals with Leucism (Not albinoism, although that could also be included in this point) would not of survived very long in the natural environment, as Iam sure you know that, but it does lead me to my point that it is not something developed by man in a lab somewhere, it is a natuarl occurence they simply haven't had the opportunity to thrive and grow in numbers. We as humans have simply capitalised on it and seen an opportunity to make money, which the same can be said about hunting. Personally I see nothing wrong with it and if it is an advantage to the development and protection of any animal species then I am all for it. But i do agree with @Jaco Strauss that we need more guys like yourselves to do research into the finer details of focused breeding on certain genetics. A further statement could be made on the breeding of Zambian Sable bloodlines with local sable or the various Buffalo origins that have crept into local wildlife auctions.
    We only have to look at domestic cattle and see the developments and pitfulls they have made in genetic breeding. Around us (back home) are a few dairy farmers that have focused their breeding efforts on one specific thing to make alot of money and in turn have caused themselves financial ruin. For example: They would breed cattle with bigger udders, more milk = more money, but neglected to breed these cattle with stronger legs and body frames. The farmer then got his cows with bgg udders but after the first lactation they would bomb out and cripple themselves because of the strain on their legs and back....bad genetics!!
    Also lets not sell ourselves out as hunters promoting the ethics and standards of what we believe in, IF by some research it is concluded that breeding of colour variants is a NEGATIVE thing on the animals themselves and conservation as a whole, then we need to stand by that and not follow the greed of the money it generates, just like those 3 A*****s in @BRICKBURN article!
    But for now, it gets my thumbs up. (until proven wrong;))

    Thanks again cheers, and tell the Shimlas they need to pull up their socks for the Varsity Cup!:mad:

    Jono
     
  5. broncolcj

    broncolcj AH Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Colorado
    My Photos:
    15
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI
    I'm curious to see how this conversation goes. I don't really care to shoot the color variants myself but I would like to see what everyone else thinks.
     
  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH Elite

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    273
    My Photos:
    39
    Hunted:
    South Africa
    I think the color variants are very interesting but there is no way I could afford to hunt one!
     
  7. Royal27

    Royal27 GOLD SUPPORTER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    723
    My Photos:
    22
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA - TX, CO, GA - Zim - SA (Next!)
    I didn't vote because I'm ambivalent to the issue at this point. I personally wouldn't pay extra to hunt a color variation, but I also won't pay extra to hunt a huge specimen either. If I could take one by chance that would be really neat though. I'm not opposed at all to those who do. i just don't have an interest at this point to do so.

    The genetic issue is an interesting one and one that I don't pretend to understand well enough to know the long term consequences, although I have no doubt they are there (just don't know if that is good, bad, or indifferent).
     
  8. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,763
    Likes Received:
    262
    My Photos:
    93
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    I firmly believe that finer research should be done as should you Jono having studied at the centre for wildlife management in PTA, and being a biologist myself, I for one would like to know what hereditary issues might come up down the line as you know allot of line breeding have taken place in establishing the numbers of these freaks, herein lies the problem.

    In all actuality there use to be a law that prohibited any movement of such COLOUR variants from the area it was located on, this has been conveniently swept under the carpet due to the obvious financial reasons.

    I thirdly and very strongly have an extreme dislike in the commercial game breeding industry, all of which claim to do so in the name of conservation.... LIE! Terrible LIE.

    1.) proper Eco systems are broken up into non viable 10 - 40 acre camps, most trees are poisoned, to establish palatable grasses in certain areas or to be able to monitor the species relocated to the camp easier, animals are fed on a continual basis to ensure maximum weight/condition, and breeding potential.

    2.)human interaction is on an extreme level, animals are tame = completely un natural

    3.)all breeders are claiming to conserve some genetic ironically for some reason it is a Zambian (sable) or East African (buff) apart from this if we are claiming conservation how does poisoning every single predator within a demarcated block fit into the picture I am unsure as to how UFS teach conservation but I believe it should be to the advantage of all species within an Eco system and not a select few with the appropriate price tag attached to it.

    TO ME IT SEEMS THAT BREEDERS WANT THEIR CAKE AND THEY WANT TO EAT IT AS NO OTHER SPECIE IS ALLOWED TO WORK IN A VERY UNBALANCED AND ARTIFICIAL CAGE NOT EVEN AN ECO SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN ARTIFICIALLY CREATED.

    I don't know Jono, to me it seems off, I believe that the special species breeding industry as some might call it should be seen for what it is and would refrain from hanging a conservation label around its neck.

    With the utmost respect and only my very best .... As always
     
    enysse likes this.
  9. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    27
    My Photos:
    9
    Member of:
    SCI, FMFG
    Hunted:
    Canada (BC, AB), RSA (Limpopo)
    Sorry for my ignorance but are these colour variation African species naturally occurring are they a product of human intervention/manipulation for profit?

    John
     
  10. spike.t

    spike.t SPONSOR GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    375
    My Photos:
    131
    Member of:
    sci int, basc
    Hunted:
    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    jaco we are very willing to supply zambian sable to SA to help conserve the genetics, and i promise you its nothing at all to do with the millions and millions of rand we would have to unfortunately accept in return for these animals...................:sneaky:;):D
     
    buckcurtin, Royal27 and Jaco Strauss like this.
  11. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,763
    Likes Received:
    262
    My Photos:
    93
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Line bred to allow for greater numbers to allow greater profit, very limited occurrence in natural environments.

    Wagahaha and what a hardship that would be Spike :) ;) nothing like receiving 1.2 million US for a Sable :)

    I just feel for the poor Sable that you'll relocate to SA he'll be very limited as far as walking space goes....
    :) :) :) ;)
     
  12. spike.t

    spike.t SPONSOR GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,369
    Likes Received:
    375
    My Photos:
    131
    Member of:
    sci int, basc
    Hunted:
    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    jaco when i was at the pilansberg auction in may my jaw was bouncing off the floor at the prices the zambian sable were going for, we get a tiny percentage of those prices in zambia.....and the golden wildebeest bull calf and its mother that went for over i think R14,000,000.00. but no chance as live export of sable is against the law in zambia these days :(, but the rumours abound of them being smuggled out............................
     
  13. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    24
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, Canada (BC, Alberta Nunavet)
    As a hunter I'm mixed about this, while I think Golden Wildebeest are nice looking, I think Black Impala are gross. I don't think that breeding for colour has anything to do with conservation but has to do with money. This is really no different then some of the horrible white tail Deer here in North America. Most of these animals will not be hunted by the average hunter, but by rich people who are on a ego trip, and that in itself turns me off of ever hunting these.
     
    Royal27 likes this.
  14. broncolcj

    broncolcj AH Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Colorado
    My Photos:
    15
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI
    I don't know how sporting any of these transported sables and golden wildebeest are, but free range color variant springbok are for darn sure as skittish as the normal type.

    I want to throw something out here. Shot a big blue wildebeest in the East Cape in May. Now he is completely mature and his incisors were worn down to the gum. What do you think:
    IMG_20140515_150826_824.jpg Keep in mind, this was a free range bull out of a herd with black faced bulls, fully hard bases, quite old but he never turned color all the way. These weren't recently stocked and were spooky as hell. Any thoughts?
     
  15. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,763
    Likes Received:
    262
    My Photos:
    93
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    I believe he would have turned black over time. All wildebeest have the golden patch at a certain age, and it disappears or rather turn black.

    Note the lack of cracks (almost rock like surface at the basis/bosses), but rather the smooth look and feel to it.


    Remaining coat is a regular typical brindled Gnu color.

    This would not be a COLOR variant.

    My best always
     
  16. broncolcj

    broncolcj AH Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Colorado
    My Photos:
    15
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI
    Maybe, his coat was kind of flecked like he was stuck halfway. His teeth were sure worn though. thanks for the response!
     
  17. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    88
    My Photos:
    8
    Member of:
    SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
    Hunted:
    Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province), Cameroon, Argentina
    I would suggest that this is a difficult question for anyone who cares about the welfare of animals and biodiversity.

    Some of the colour variations currently being bred intensively - such as black impala - require so much inbreeding to consistently get the desired colour that it seems to result in a weakening of the genetic makeup of the animal (at least from outward appearances). I doubt it would be a good thing if those weaker specimens made it into the wild, as some sure will, but then again, they may have less likelihood of breeding if they are weaker overall. Still, this has to be a concern.

    I see no difference between breeding for colour and breeding for any other trait, such as horn length, which seems to be very common for "glamor" game such as cape buffalo, sable and roan. One seems to be accepted, while the other is not. Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why that may be?

    My sense of unease is somewhat lessened by the fact that I think some of these things will be self correcting. Lots of people will hunt blue wildebeest on safaris - in fact, some, like me, will do so multiple times because at less than $1000 in trophy fees, they are relatively affordable. However, I recently saw the trophy fee on a golden wildebeest as $49,000. At that price, I think the interest from the hunting community will be extremely limited, and if too many breeders get into the game, the problem will be self limiting.
     
    Jaco Strauss likes this.
  18. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,763
    Likes Received:
    262
    My Photos:
    93
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Could not agree more, any industry needs a final user, the breeding industry will be its own down fall it is just a matter of time, due to the lack of that final user.

    Pricing limits utilization (if any) it is played like a stock market, the head honcho breeders starve the market this causes a demand (from new breeders) which in turn provides a good yield for those with excess stock in hand, but ultimately breeders supply breeders who in turn supply breeders....

    The conservation value of this is negligible due to the exact reasons mentioned above (my second post), and it has turned into a money making racket...

    I have no problem with income being generated, as the financial gains in the industry makes it a notable contributor to the GDP. BUT it should be seen and recognized for what it is...

    My best always
     
  19. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,864
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    My Photos:
    40
    Member of:
    RFEC, RFETO
    Hunted:
    Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
    Color variants are just bred for money !

    As a hunter, they have no special value to me.
     
    Royal27, enysse and Jaco Strauss like this.
  20. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    88
    My Photos:
    8
    Member of:
    SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
    Hunted:
    Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province), Cameroon, Argentina
    Last month in South Africa everyone was talking about the auction of a "saddleback" blesbuck. Apparently something over R7 million! For an animal no one I spoke to had ever seen up to that time! And this is an animal, without the "special" markings, that normally commands a trophy fee of around $475! How many people "final users" as you call them Jaco - will seriously pay what it will take to earn a return on this animal?

    Now that I've seen a picture of this famous blesbuck, I know what I would pay to hunt it - $475.

    I think we've hijacked this thread . . .!
     
    Jaco Strauss likes this.

Share This Page