Leopard Conservation????

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by tap, May 23, 2011.

  1. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I've been watching an awful lot of leopard videos in the past few weeks. To say I'm excited to be touching down in Johannesburg is an understatement.

    Whats really is disturbing to me is the current conservation efforts I see playing out in the world scene.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but conservation is no longer a scientific tool. It is more a way of life, from what I see, and someones way of forcing their views on everyone else.

    Yes I know the government officials base their quota on current populations etc. but how far the government can go is limited. I keep watching these documentaries and these guys watching, wolves, lions, leopards, etc..... are doing so in the wilderness! These people then form models based on wilderness activities and force quotas on the government based on their worthless studies. South african leopard hunting has a lot of nay sayers because quite frankly you guys have a lot of activists who don't understand leopards at all. They think they are endangered because national geographic said so. they then scream loud enough to the government until tags are cut.

    What is wrong with this? Whats wrong with this is that these animals no longer live in the wilderness. they now live amongst us. I Keep watching these documentaries telling everyone how endangered the big cats are. They keep saying that we are destroying the ecosystem by hunting these cats. these guys and their documentaries are persuading everyone to quit hunting cats because we are supposedly killing them all.

    What good are these peoples studies when they are performed in the wilderness. These studies need to be conducted near poaching camps, near cattle farms, near cities.

    For the last 10 years I have been visiting africa regularly. I have hunted many different areas and one thing that is common to me is that when a cat track is spotted drastic measures are instantly taken. Mainly south africa but im sure other areas of africa are the same. In south africa one leopard in an area could mean tens of thousands of dollars worth of huntable wildlife is lost. Well, if the outfitter cant hunt that cat the landowner is obviously going to deal away with the cat in the name of monetary return. Its simple ecomonics. If you allow a cites permit for the cat then the animals he eats are worth it because you can get your money back via a leopard hunt. Hence the leopards wont be shot behind the scenes and the populations will expand in those areas. I know most of you on this site are probably those ethical people who never admit wrong doing but I'm sure most of you cant argue with me on this point either because you know that in the cattle farming industry and other areas where wild game is a primary source of income that this is all too common. I for one don't condone it, however; If a leopard or a wolf is severly hurting your well being then by all means remove him.

    Now for the poachers there is a much simpler solution. Instead of national geographic fighting court battles in europe to restrict permits via cites, why not use the money to send the areas with the highest concentrations of poaching some free food. There must be some form of compensation that would keep poaching to a minimum.

    My question to you africa guys, and the point of this entire post is to ask one question. Is anyone using common sense game management to solve the current issues or are you guys just like the americans where biology is determined by green peace activists attempting to push their 17th century model of the wild earth in its wilderness state on everyone.

    I usually see the south africans as a more sensible group than the americans but then I watch another nat geo video and cant help but wonder.

    So what are your views? Are you guys able to get it right. I'm not asking just anyone, I'm wanting to know from guys who live in the area and experience the politics. Does this whole ponderance in my mind make any differnce? No, but this is a public forum and it doesn't hurt to know the political situation in an area I love to hunt and for a species I wish to hunt more of in the future.

    thanks in advance for any comments
     
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I dont disagree with your basic premise. Organized poaching is only stopped by one or two things, incarceration or execution. The go-gooder preservationist's will never admit that controlled hunting is a good thing. I have though actually heard our (hunters) position stated in a positive way on Nat Geo on occasion, so not every docu we see is totally slanted, most perhaps but not all.
     
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think National Geographic posts some great wildlife footage! But I also think is slanted towards...hunting is bad...preservation is good.

    There are just to many human beings out there. And not enough wilderness.

    When someone asked me why I wanted to hunt leopard? I replied because the greenies might be able to ban the CITES importation of leopards. A hunting consultant that I know well, states that there are about 2 million leopard in Africa, he represents some of the best outfitters in Africa....he says they are far from endangered. I'm not sure about the 2 million number, but leopard are treated like vermin in parts of Africa...and that is kinda sad to me....because they are a beautiful animal...that too me anyway...has a lot of value.

    The wolves here in the USA...on the other hand...to me...have very little value, there a lot of them, and they are anything but endangered...but ask PETA about it and they make it sound like they are on their last leg!

    Wildlife conservation doesn't always make sense!
     
  4. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    TAP

    It depends on what party is in office in the United States as to what the agenda is...We lost big time ground when the Democrats were in all 3 branches at the same time...
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Add one more SES, "Enough Food" will stop a poacher too, at least the subsistence variety.
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Tap you must be getting hassled about your upcoming hunt.
    Hope someone can answer your question.
     
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Brickburn,

    You note I said "organized poaching". Hungry people need food and in a land of lots of McD on the hoof, people should not be starving of course. Thats why I made the distinction.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I know you distinguished. I was just making it more plain!
     
  9. safari-lawyer

    safari-lawyer AH Member

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    The main leopard conservation tool in modern times (aside from quotas, not shooting as vermin, etc) is the policy of shooting only male leopards.

    That said, leopard research and conservation is a difficult deal. Outside of the national parks, there are basically no places to study leopards other than with trail cameras. They are shy and nocturnal. Based on tracks, scats, and camera traps you can identify specific cats by their rosettes and estimate a leopard population in an area, but there is no way to know exactly how many leopard exist in any area or on the whole of the continent. Some say there are 500,000. Some say there are 1M.

    As far as the future of leopard hunting. The leopard has two things going for it: (1) he is valuable and no longer shot / poisoned as vermin and (2) the end of the fur trade. Further, the leopard does not have the social structure issues that prides of lions have. You shoot a pride lion, you may kill the entire pride. You shoot a big male leopard, and another male will move into his territory within a matter of days or weeks.

    Zim, Tanz, Moz, Zam, CAR, Ethiopia, RSA, Nam, and others all have leopard hunting quotas established that range from 100 cats to 500 cats per year. With some 2500 or more export permits per year, the leopard population is stable and hunting, for the near future, appears to be stable.
     
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I still don't think there are enough tags handed out...not by a long shot. I think Namibia is super, super conservative on their practice of handing tags out to foreign hunters. They could easily triple the CITES permits and there would still be plenty of leopards to go around. And I dare say, the leopard would even have more value....though, you will always have people not argueing for hunting of any lion, cheetah or leopard.
     

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