Conservation Through Hunting?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Rich219, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Rich219

    Rich219 AH Member

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    I watch the shows with Ivan Carter on the Outdoor Channel and follow his page on Facebook and he is always mentioning the idea of "conservation through hunting." I'm new to the whole hunting Africa thing and due to this I lack the knowledge to fully understand how much foreign investment from hunters/sportsman affect conservation efforts in Africa.

    I don't know why but this topic peaks my interest. From the surface you would thinking that hunting would be decreasing the quantity and quality of game in Africa but from the little reading I have done it appears to be just the opposite. Can anyone go into a bit of depth on the subject of how foreign investment (I don't know if that is the exact term you would use but that is the term I'm familiar with) has resulted in an increase in animal quantity and quality as well as a repopulation of animals that were once on the way to extinction?
     
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Without going into all the intricacies, before sport hunting became popular game animals only function was to eat farmers crops and ranchers pasture. African pasture BTW is sparse and meager to begin with. The Landowners, by SA law, own the animals that are on their land whether penned in or just passing through and as such were prone to killing off the competition. Nowadays game is worth more sold to a foreign hunter than the pastuer/crop that he eats so $$$ talks and the farmers/ranchers have a viable reason to preserve native game. Game ranchers found that the expense of setting up a fenced property with all the essentials to keep game populations at their peak and the expense of bringing in and allowing non-native game to reproduce and increase in number was offset by the revenue that they could get from allowing foreign hunters to hunt them.

    In wilderness areas, local tribes are given jobs and meat so they do not need to snare 'bushmeat' to extinction and foreign $$$ are used to fund anti-poaching units to stop both rhino and elephant poachers as well as any remaining bushmeat poachers. The local tribesmen are also more apt to be watchful for poaching activities because of the afformantioned reasons as well.

    So plain and simple, like everything else in this world, the all mighty dollar is the savior of African game.
     
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Adding to Diamond's comments. It only makes good business sense for the outfitters to manage the numbers they take. If indeed too many animals were being taken such that the population was dwindling, eventually it would reduce to the point that no one would pay to hunt there. A bad long term business plan wouldn't you say?

    You might want to look up Peter Flack. Peter is a South African who has written on this and explains very well why the business of hunting has resulted in an extraordinary comeback for wildlife in Africa.

    A couple of countries to compare and contrast would be Kenya and Mozambique. Kenya outlawed hunting and now the wildlife is pretty much relegated to the parks. Mozambique having come out of a long civil war and little wildlife has now stabilized. Furthermore the gov't recognized that restoring wildlife to where hunting would make business sense was a good thing to do. And now Moz seems to be the rising jewel in southern Africa and seems to be headed for being what Zimbabwe once was. It seems every year more and more of the well known African outfitters are establishing shop in Moz.
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Rinderpest is a good historical word to look up for a read regarding game numbers.

    I'll correct one point: The animals "passing through" property are not owned and can not be by law. (RSA)
    Anything that typically can not be held within a proper fence: Birds, Leopard, Monkeys, etc. have their own special little categories under the law.

    RSA (grain and crops, etc) are still just as prone today to knock off competition. Eland escaping out of parks in the Free State were allowed to be hunted without license. Any wagers on the count on the escapee Eland?
    Significant concerns are being expressed about the sustainability of that "wild" herd.
    Bosvark eating grain crops; Problem animal control (PAC)

    General Kudu hunting being restricted in EC.
    Lots of reductions occurring in the grain crops.
    Inside the fences there are still lots of Kudu!

    "Communal Lands" (ZIM) The jist as D suggests"; The owners voluntarily reduce space used personally on their lands and provide an outfitter the opportunity to sell the hunts on that land. The owners retain meat ownership and are also paid and the money is distributed, typically annually, to the community.
    There are also some jobs created.

    Namibia: Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network (CBNRM) You have to have the acronyms.
    Very successful process of leasing, job creation, etc in various areas with international and local partners.


    It was explained this way in PH School: "Everything must pay its own way."
    More money to be made on marginal land with game than cattle, guess which wins.
    More money for Buffalo, Sable, White Springbok, Golden Oryx, Black Kudu, etc it will be attempted.
    If it does not pay the game farm owner is not likely to continue.

    I hold a more western view of animals having an "intrinsic value", but it appears the market forces always react quickly to point in time demand. The farmers, outfitters, trackers, skinners all have to eat and keep the lights on.

    Lots of other examples. Just start reading. :)
     
  5. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Enthusiast

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    As everyone above says, it is all about creating a dollar value for the animals.

    Lots of people seem to have a very hard time understanding that killing animals can be good for the species. I use the analogy of chickens. We slaughter chickens by the millions and there is no chicken shortage. That is because they have economic value. Underwashed people in 'vintage" clothing don't need to hold protests to "protect" the chickens. They don't need to solicit donations or raise our chicken awareness. I fund habitat, health care, and people to watch over the chickens every time I eat a McNugget. It is same with every other animal. As long as there is someone willing to pay a trophy fee worth 6 months wages to shoot a buffalo, there will be buffalo.

    It is too bad that the US won't allow cheetah trophy imports. The American market is a very big proportion of the revenue stream. Cheetah eat animals that can be sold. Most Americans are not willing to pay a trophy fee for an animal that they can't take home. So, cheetah have little economic value and eat animals that have economic value. What do you think happens to them? Our government is protecting them into extinction.
     
  6. Rich219

    Rich219 AH Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. It is a topic that intrigues me and I think I will have to do a bit more reading on the subject.
     
  7. Ivan Carter

    Ivan Carter AH Senior Member

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    richkn , have a look through my facebook posts and as you scroll through i think you will get a pretty clear picture of what i am talking about ..

    heres it put as best as a i know how ...

    The next time you are in a supermarket go to the vegetable aisle and look there the most popular vegetables sit on the shelves , multiple varieties of each 釦ake potatoes for example hundreds of farmers across the country put great value in their potato crop and would never dream of farming something that nobody would buy they spray their potatoes, they spend a lot of time propagating their potatoes, fertilizing , eliminating all threats - and the potatoes have the very best chance of survival In todays world there are more potatoes than there have ever been in history because people use them a LOT and will pay to do so how is a rhino any different ? If people are allowed to use them ,trade them and hunt them , then hundreds of farmers will want to own a viable breeding herd and will spend significant money breeding rhinos, protecting them and ensuring that they are safely growing in number so that they can sell and trade in them the rhino will become a financially valuable commodity and through sustainable utilization we will see a comeback on the other hand if there is no trade allowed none but the very rich will own a herd of rhino because there will be no financial return. The numbers will decline (as they are today) and one will find oneself looking at an animal that no longer has a viable population. Zimbabwe, the Zambezi valley , one of the strongholds of black rhinos in the past , saw a peak in poaching in 1997 and today none exist in the lower valley and a small handful in the upper valley. If it became illegal to sell potatoes do you think that farmers would continue to spend money growing them just to preserve the species? Sustainable, ethical , well managed hunting is the only hope for the worlds wildlife.
     

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