NAPHA press release concerning the hunting of a collared lion in Torra Conservancy

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  1. AfricaHunting.com

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    First of all NAPHA would like to urge the conservation community, of which the regulated hunting fraternity considers itself to be an important, integral part, to act in rational, measured way in the best interest of the conservation of species and most important, in the interest of the conservation of living space for wild animals.

    While NAPHA still is busy verifying all facts and some contradicting figures published in various reports, it must be clear that the Dorob male was shot on a regular trophy hunt, backed by a valid permit and on an approved trophy hunting quota.

    It is a concern of the trophy hunting fraternity that hunters are expected to pay high prices for certain "high-profile species" animals offered on quotas and allocated to communal conservancies, to create incentives for the protection of wildlife by rural communities, but once these quota animals are utilized, there generally is an outcry by the so-called non-consumptive conservation community.

    NAPHA moreover is concerned about an increasing reluctance by rural communities to tolerate potential conflict species like lion in their areas. Members of rural communities rarely have access to the media to express their concerns in the way some armchair conservationists have. This often results in drastic actions like poisoning or indiscriminate killing of "conflict species".

    Sustainable trophy hunting is a well-proven conservation tool and largely contributes to the protection of suitable habitat for potential conflict species like lion.

    NAPHA calls on the conservation community to act together in the best interest of the protection of wild animas and their habitat. Heated emotions will only sharpen the conflict and ultimately result in rejection of conflict species by those an whose land these animals live and who have to bear the brunt of the predation of lion on their livestock.



    Source: NAPHA (Namibian Professional Hunting Association)
  2. AfricaHunting.com

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    NAPHA Statement concerning the public debate around the trophy hunted Dorob Lion

    First of all we would like to emphasize, that we have sympathy with the fact, that the shooting of a lion, whose entire behaviour could be observed on daily basis by many people via satellite control, brings about much sorrow.
    It is not our intention to here discuss, weather this kind of "Big Brother" control of wild animals, made possible by technical development, perhaps is degrading and wether it perhaps would be more sensible, to supply the public with more general insight on the animal kingdom, which would be less prone to humanized personification of individual animals.

    The humanisation and personification of individual wild animals, however, and the resulting overestimation of single incidents within the natural correlation of a free, wild animal population, is not conducive to rational considerations.
    A fully grown male lion like the Dorob male apart from many prey animals very likely has killed a considerable number of lion cubs, when establishing his position as a dominant pride male. This, from out a human point of view ghastly behaviour of dominant pride males, just like the fact that the dominant male after a few years is displaced by other males and during the preliminary battles is likely to be killed, however, is part of the natural dynamics of lion populations.
    It may sound harsh, but an individual fate has no significance within the natural laws of "kill or be killed", of "hunter and hunted".
    In a country like Namibia, where there still are large intact wilderness areas, those who care about protecting these wildlife sanctuaries (and the hunting fraternity is amongst them) should be able to rational, nature-orientated considerations.

    Before we turn towards the specific situation of the so-called "desert lions", we would like to emphasize, that NAPHA fully supports the collaring of certain wild animals for clearly defined scientific purposes and condemns the shooting of such animals.
    The Communal Conservancies in North-western Namibia, which have allowed the recovering and increase of the lion population in that part of Namibia, have been formed in a joint effort by the MET and several support organisations like the IRDNC and the WWF. During that effort, the possibilities of sustainable utilisation of wild animals always has been used to win the local population over for this significant conservation project. In that, the high financial value of certain "conflict species" like lion and elephant, were highlighted in particular. Right from the beginning the hunting fraternity was involved in these conservancies and only due to the financial incentives produced by trophy hunting, it was possible to set many conservancies on their feet and to create tolerance for "conflict species".
    Often professional hunters are deliberately lured into paying high concession fees by a very attractive quota. Unfortunately the utilisation of these legal quotas time and again bring the professional hunters into discredit.
    By now, there is disillusionment on all sides very much to the detriment of the game populations.

    Fact is that the lion population in North-western Namibia contrary to almost everywhere else on the continent is still growing. This also becomes apparent from Dr. Standers studies.
    This is mainly due to the principle of "sustainable utilisation of natural resources" in the Communal Conservancies, but also to the low human population density of Namibia.
    Unfortunately an alarming trend can be observed in the last years.
    Like elsewhere in Africa, an increasing reluctance by the population to tolerate lion in their areas can be noted in the Communal Conservancies of North-western Namibia, resulting in indiscriminate killing of lion by poisoning and shooting.
    According to Russel Vinjevold 11 lion where indiscriminately killed by locals in the Torra Conservancy, where the Dorob male was killed legally by a trophy hunter, and in the neighbouring Sesfontein Conservancy already in this year.
    According to information by our PHï½´s in on the ground, the estimated number of unreported cases is much higher.

    Seen countrywide and considering lion killed by farmers on the Etosha border or in the communal areas around Khaudum Park, the ratio of lion shot by trophy hunters vs. indiscriminate killing, shifts to more than 1:20.
    On the one side these figures show that Namibia still has a large lion population. On the other hand, however, the same alarming trend can be noted, which everywhere in Africa has lead to a dramatic decrease in lion populations: In the light of dwindling wilderness areas, lion everywhere come in conflict with human interests and eventually are completely displaced.
    NAPHA once again calls on the conservation community to act rational and mutually co-operate, to find ways of protecting large wilderness areas and increase the tolerance for lion by local populations in these areas.
    Perhaps a quota of three lion in Torra Conservancy (where now at least five lion where killed indiscriminately) with corresponding compensation of cattle losses via income from trophy hunting, would have done more for lion protection than the international outcry because of one lion legally killed by a trophy hunter within a sensible conservation project.

    Concerning the shooting of collared animals, the following must be noted.
    No real hunter takes pleasure in hunting an animal that was handled by humans before and that does not live in original, natural way. Should a collared animal be shot by mistake, the joy of the trophy is immediately depleted. Unfortunately some anti-hunters misuse this fact to hinder the professional hunters in their work.
    Not only are animals interesting to trophy hunting deliberately collared without sound scientific reasons, but moreover a big number at times is burned on their hind leg, to make them worthless as trophy animals.
    Once again NAPHA calls on all stakeholders to co-operate in finding solutions for the problem of disappearing living space for lion.
    A few years ago, when there was a similar outcry after the shooting of the collared male "Big Boy", NAPHA already requested a meeting with Dr. Stander to address these issues. Unfortunately the meeting never materialized because of time constraints on the scientists side.
    Valuable scientific results should be presented in factual, unemotional way and not pulled from the context. Unfortunately some data of Dr. Standers study at times is misused to sensationalize certain aspects.
    It has to be noted that the number of 29 human induced male lion mortalities between 1999 and 2010, includes a trophy quota of 5 lion only. The rest of the mortalities were as a result of human-wildlife conflicts.
    The public debate is an important part of democracy, however this should not lead to public defamation of individuals, as practiced on some internet platforms.



    Source: NAPHA (Namibian Professional Hunting Association)

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