Conservation Value of Tourist Safari Hunting courtesy of Conservation Force For more info about Conservation Force please access their website www.conservationforce.org. Hunting has been the cornerstone and most important conservation development in the 20th Century and continues to be the leading contributor to conservation in the 21st Century. Hunting is an exceptional form of sustainable use that has been proven to create conservation stakeholders, to stimulate conservation incentives and generate operating revenue for conservation budgets; hence, is one of the foremost forces for conservation. "In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen. The excellent people who protest against all hunting and consider sportsmen as enemies of wildlife are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is, by all odds, the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination." (US President Theodore Roosevelt). In the last quarter of the 20th Century, a new conservation tool arose from regulated sport hunting. The safari hunting industry began providing new conservation opportunities. Safari hunters were amongst the first eco-tourists. Their con- tribution has become world renowned through programs such as CAMPFIRE, the Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust, etc. Tourist safari hunting is the most efficient, effective, self-funding tool to conserve wildlife, promote biodiversity and to provide immediate benefits to rural people in remote areas. It Provides Immediate Tangible Benefits to Rural People Is a source of high pay employment providing dignity and self-determination. Is a source of basic public services (medicine, bore holes, etc.) where governments can't otherwise provide them Stimulates secondary industries and employment while preserving traditional culture. Converts wildlife from a liability to an asset from being intolerable pests and nuisances to game animal status. Converts wildlife habitat to a higher revenue producing land use. Promotes bottom up development and human wellbeing. Is a major source of revenue wherever it exists. Has the potential to generate more income for land owners from a given number of wild animals than wildlife cropping, ranching and viewing tourism. Provides the highest revenue per tourist of any ecotourism activity. Often occurs in remote areas where no other means are available to improve human well-being and the quality and duration of human life. Can occur even where other land uses are impractical or impossible. It Provides the Highest Level of Conservation Benefits Gives animals their highest lawful, positive, economic value in the remote bush. Reduces poaching through physical presence, reporting, funding and by creating an atmosphere of local intolerance towards poaching Creates wildlife and habitat conservation incentives locally and nationally. Provides badly needed funding, locally and nationally. Stimulates adaptive wildlife management. Provides means of having game scouts in remote locations at no cost to governing authorities. Provides a primary rationale for conservation. It Has No Detrimental Environmental Impact It is insignificant in animal off-take, and, therefore, of low risk to the population. It is low in habitat disturbance because of the low volume of tourist hunters and their desire for a natural experience. It is self-limiting as tourists lost interest automatically when trophy quality decreases. To maintain trophy quality, quotas are set far lower than sustainable yield, resulting in a greater margin of safety. It is focused on a small, select segment of surplus adult males past breeding prime: It is easy to monitor, regulate and to manage adaptively. It is a legal activity and positive value for wildlife. It occurs where little or no other management and con- servation incentive would exist but for it, outside of parks and protected areas. Tourist Hunting is an Exceptional Conservation Tool It is the principal conservation tool beyond the borders of protected areas where most wildlife and habitat still exist and the need is greatest (Parks are limited to 5% of habitat). It is self-funding and self-sufficient since tourist hunters pay their own way. Tourist hunters spend prodigious amounts, by far the highest tourist spending per tourist and per animal. Requires no government capital investment or donor agency support. It is one of the most highly taxed, licensed and intensively regulated activities in the world because of the revenue it generates and low cost of monitoring due to its low volume. Quotas are set to maintain competitive trophy quality, which is far less than the level of sustainable off-take. It is efficient and the most cost effective method of financing conservation. It is a special category of sustainable use that can be put to immediate use. Editor's Comment: This is an excellent listing of arguments pro-safari hunting. John Jackson III, founder and Chairman of Conservation Force is diligently working for all hunters and supporters of the sustainable use principle around the globe. Contact details see start of this article.