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  1. Ron Thomson

    Botswana Wildlife Dilemma

    by Ron Thomson Note from the Editor The attached article BOTSWANA'S Wildlife Dilemma first appeared in the "African OUTFITTER" magazine in the March/April 2014 issue. Thank you to "African OUTFITTER" magazine for giving permission to share it here on AH. It was written by Ron Thomson, a...
  2. Ron Thomson

    The Hunter & Society's Conservation Ethos

    The Hunter and Society's 'Conservation' Ethos by Ron Thomson Picture by Induna Safaris TRUE GREEN Over the last 30 years I have become progressively more concerned at the ever-growing animal rights challenge to common sense and science-based wildlife management practices in our...
  3. Ron Thomson

    The Hunter and Society's 'Conservation' Ethos

    The Hunter and Society's 'Conservation' Ethos by Ron Thomson TRUE GREEN Over the last 30 years I have become progressively more concerned at the ever-growing animal rights challenge to common sense and science-based wildlife management practices in our national parks, and to the sustainable...
  4. Ron Thomson

    Wildlife Management in Botswana

    Wildlife Management in Botswana To my knowledge there has been no pro-active wildlife management conducted in Botswana - ever. Cordon sanitaire fences were erected many years ago to separate Botswana’s commercial cattle industry from the infectious disease reservoir in its wildlife -...
  5. Ron Thomson

    On The Subject Of Species & Sub-Species

    The Wildlife Game - On The Subject Of Species & Sub-Species It always amazes me that so many people who state they are nature-lovers, naturalists, hunters and/or “conservationists”, et cetera, appear to have so much difficulty in understanding the differences that exist between what we call...
  6. Ron Thomson

    On The Subject Of Species & Sub-Species

    The Wildlife Game - On The Subject Of Species & Sub-Species It always amazes me that so many people who state they are nature-lovers, naturalists, hunters and/or “conservationists”, et cetera, appear to have so much difficulty in understanding the differences that exist between what we call...
  7. Ron Thomson

    The Cheetah Challenge

    The Cheetah Challenge Many people believe the cheetah is headed for extinction but, when all the facts are considered, it is clear the cheetah has as good a chance of survival as has any other large predator. It’s future depends entirely upon how man manages the species. Whereas...
  8. Ron Thomson

    The Cheetah Challenge

    The Cheetah Challenge Many people believe the cheetah is headed for extinction but, when all the facts are considered, it is clear the cheetah has as good a chance of survival as has any other large predator. It’s future depends entirely upon how man manages the species. Whereas...
  9. Ron Thomson

    A Buffalo, A Bullet & A Bushman Tracker

    A Buffalo, A Bullet & A Bushman Tracker Rhodesia: 1961 Ron Thomson was a government game ranger in Rhodesia & Zimbabwe for 24 years (1959-1983). This is the first in a series of his most extraordinary big game hunting stories. In 1961, I was a young game ranger stationed at Main Camp, Hwange...
  10. Ron Thomson

    A Buffalo, A Bullet & A Bushman Tracker

    A Buffalo, A Bullet & A Bushman Tracker Rhodesia: 1961 Ron Thomson was a government game ranger in Rhodesia & Zimbabwe for 24 years (1959-1983). This is the first in a series of his most extraordinary big game hunting stories. In 1961, I was a young game ranger stationed at Main Camp...
  11. Ron Thomson

    Cheetah

    Cheetah Much has been written about the cheetah but there is still a great deal to learn. Some say the cheetah is heading for early extinction. Others say this is nonsense that the cheetah has as good a chance as any other large predator to survive into posterity. What is clear – as...
  12. Ron Thomson

    Cheetah

    Cheetah Much has been written about the cheetah but there is still a great deal to learn. Some say the cheetah is heading for early extinction. Others say this is nonsense that the cheetah has as good a chance as any other large predator to survive into posterity. What is clear – as...
  13. Ron Thomson

    A game Warden Takes Stock

    A game Warden Takes Stock Forty-five years ago I joined the Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management as a game ranger. I was twenty years old. Over the years I accumulated a vast amount of big game hunting and big game capture experience. I was part of...
  14. Ron Thomson

    A game Warden Takes Stock

    A game Warden Takes Stock Forty-five years ago I joined the Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management as a game ranger. I was twenty years old. Over the years I accumulated a vast amount of big game hunting and big game capture experience. I was part of...
  15. Ron Thomson

    The Hippopotamus & Hippopotamus Behaviour

    The Hippopotamus & Hippopotamus Behaviour “Somebody” was once quoted in the press as having said that the hippopotamus kills more people in Africa than any other wild animal. This “fact” has been repeated again and again by the media until the general public has come to believe it. But...
  16. Ron Thomson

    The Hippopotamus & Hippopotamus Behaviour

    The Hippopotamus & Hippopotamus Behaviour “Somebody” was once quoted in the press as having said that the hippopotamus kills more people in Africa than any other wild animal. This “fact” has been repeated again and again by the media until the general public has come to believe it. But...
  17. Ron Thomson

    The Most Dangerous of Them All

    The Most Dangerous of Them All How often have we heard the opinion that infers, because it is wounded (and hence presumably angry with the hunter), that a wounded African buffalo is the most dangerous animal on earth to hunt? Some people, on the other hand, believe a wounded leopard has that...
  18. Ron Thomson

    The Most Dangerous Of Them All

    The Most Dangerous of Them All How often have we heard the opinion that infers, because it is wounded (and hence presumably angry with the hunter), that a wounded African buffalo is the most dangerous animal on earth to hunt? Some people, on the other hand, believe a wounded leopard has that...
  19. Ron Thomson

    Botswana's Lions

    Botswana's Lions The annual Safari Club International Convention was held, as usual, in the United States of America in late January 2001. As is customary every year, America’s several SCI State Chapter conventions were held either just before or just after the main convention itself...
  20. Ron Thomson

    Botswana's Lions

    Botswana's Lions The annual Safari Club International Convention was held, as usual, in the United States of America in late January 2001. As is customary every year, America’s several SCI State Chapter conventions were held either just before or just after the main convention itself...
  21. Ron Thomson

    Africa's Commercial Poaching Pandemic

    Africa's Commercial Poaching Pandemic In 1960 Africa’s black rhinos numbered 100 000 animals. By the end of the century they were down to 2 500. Between 1979 and 1989 Africa’s elephants were said to have been reduced from 1,3 million to 600 000. The blame was laid at the feet of the black...
  22. Ron Thomson

    Africa's Commercial Poaching Pandemic

    Africa's Commercial Poaching Pandemic In 1960 Africa’s black rhinos numbered 100 000 animals. By the end of the century they were down to 2 500. Between 1979 and 1989 Africa’s elephants were said to have been reduced from 1,3 million to 600 000. The blame was laid at the feet of the black...
  23. Ron Thomson

    Africa's Wildlife, It’s Past, Present & Future - Part Two

    Africa's Wildlife, It’s Past, Present & Future - Part Two But in some parts of Africa no culling in the national parks has ever taken place, and during the latter part of the 20th century those culling programmes that had been instituted in the 1960s were stopped. Throughout the middle...
  24. Ron Thomson

    Africa's Wildlife, It’s Past, Present & Future - Part One

    Africa's Wildlife, It’s Past, Present & Future - Part One The beginning of the third millenium found Africa’s wildlife standing at a crossroads the likes of which it had never encountered before but few people have recognised this fact. In the year 2000 – and since - wildlife in Africa has...
  25. Ron Thomson

    The Wildlife Game

    The Wildlife Game Between the 30th June and the 5th July 2001, the annual American Animal Rights Conference was held at the Hilton Hotel in McLean, Virginia, USA. There were over a thousand delegates one third of whom were under the age of twenty-five. None of the US State game...
  26. Ron Thomson

    The Wildlife Game No.1

    The Wildlife Game No.1 During the 1980s a survey was conducted in the United States to determine the general public’s understanding and acceptance of sustainable wildlife utilisation. Five percent of Americans were vehemently opposed to man using wildlife in any way. Fifteen percent...
  27. Ron Thomson

    The Wildlife Game No.1

    The Wildlife Game No.1 During the 1980s a survey was conducted in the United States to determine the general public’s understanding and acceptance of sustainable wildlife utilisation. Five percent of Americans were vehemently opposed to man using wildlife in any way. Fifteen percent...
  28. Ron Thomson

    The Endangered Species Fallacy & Its' Wildlife Management Implications

    The Endangered Species Fallacy & Its' Wildlife Management Implications One of the greatest fallacies of modern wildlife management philosophy is the concept of the so-called ‘endangered species’. It is also misleading and has muddled society’s perceptions with regard to the true management...
  29. Ron Thomson

    The Endangered Species Fallacy & Its' Wildlife Management Implications

    The Endangered Species Fallacy & Its' Wildlife Management Implications One of the greatest fallacies of modern wildlife management philosophy is the concept of the so-called ‘endangered species’. It is also misleading and has muddled society’s perceptions with regard to the true management...
  30. Ron Thomson

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part Four

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part Four Foundation Principles (C) The practice of wildlife management can only be applied to wild animal populations. It cannot be applied to a species as a whole. This makes the endangered species concept - as the public has been led to understand it -...
  31. Ron Thomson

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part Three

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part Three Foundation Principles (B) One of the biggest mistakes that our media people make, when they report upon controversial wildlife ‘conservation’ issues, is that they bludgeon the subjects of their reports to death with personal opinions. Few people...
  32. Ron Thomson

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part Two

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part Two Foundation Principles (A) One of the main problems associated with society’s perception of what most people nowadays call ‘wildlife conservation’ is the fact that few of us actually understand the foundation principles that govern – or should govern...
  33. Ron Thomson

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part One

    Managing Our Wildlife Heritage - Part One In today’s democratic South Africa ‘transparency’ is all the rage. This ideal encourages society to participate in public debate with government in all those matters that the people hold near and dear. The purpose – to influence government...
  34. Ron Thomson

    Kruger National Park New Elephant Management Plan

    Kruger National Park New Elephant Management Plan In 1995, following pressure from animal rights groups, The South African National Parks Board agreed to stop elephant culling in Kruger National Park and to review its elephant management strategy. The last elephant culling exercise of...
  35. Ron Thomson

    Kruger National Park New Elephant Management Plan

    Kruger National Park New Elephant Management Plan In 1995, following pressure from animal rights groups, The South African National Parks Board agreed to stop elephant culling in Kruger National Park and to review its elephant management strategy. The last elephant culling exercise of...
  36. Ron Thomson

    Elephant Culling In Kruger National Park - Part Two

    Elephant Culling in Kruger National Park - Part Two The story behind the controversy To cull or not to cull? That is the question. South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP) currently supports 16 000 elephants. How many elephants should the park be carrying? This is a question that many...
  37. Ron Thomson

    Elephant Culling in Kruger National Park - Part One

    Elephant Culling in Kruger National Park - Part One The story behind the controversy Early last year the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), Martinus van Schalkwyk, announced that he had approved culling as ONE of the options for the management of elephants in...
  38. Ron Thomson

    CITES - Now A Bane Not A Boon

    CITES - Now A Bane Not A Boon The two-week-long biennial Conference of the Parties (CoP 14) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has now come and gone. One of the results of the conference was that, after another once-off sale of stockpiled elephant ivory...
  39. Ron Thomson

    CITES Boon Or Bane

    CITES - Boon or Bane? The Wild Life Game Column The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora – better known as CITES – was created in 1975. Its purpose was, and remains, to regulate international trade in wild fauna and wild flora. During the 1960s there...
  40. Ron Thomson

    Is Elephant Trophy Quality Sustainable in Botswana's Hunting Concessions?

    Is Elephant Trophy Quality Sustainable in Botswana's Hunting Concessions? Last year Botswana’s Hunting Safari Outfitters told me that they were concerned about maintaining elephant trophy quality in their allotted hunting concessions. I discussed this with them when I addressed the Botswana...
  41. Ron Thomson

    Managing The African Buffalo

    Managing the African Buffalo The African or Cape buffalo is the only proven carrier of the notorious foot-and-mouth disease. In many areas it is also a carrier of corridor fever (Theileriosis). The buffalo is susceptible to bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis (contagious abortion)...
  42. Ron Thomson

    Which Domino Will Be Next A Review Of The Canned Lion Hunting Controversy

    Which Domino Will Be Next? - A Review of The Canned Lion Hunting Controversy A few years ago the Cook Report revealed to the world the existence of “canned lion hunting” in South Africa. Everyone was shocked. A canned lion hunt is the practice of shooting a lion that was born and...
  43. Ron Thomson

    Opening Pandora's Box - My First Leopard

    Opening Pandora's Box - My First Leopard I left school at the end of 1956 and immediately attested into the Royal Rhodesian Air Force on a short-service commission. I trained as a fighter pilot. After learning the hard way that aeroplanes are not designed to fly underground, I found myself...
  44. Ron Thomson

    DDT The Resurrection Of An Old Threat To Africa’s Wildlife

    DDT - The Resurrection of an Old Threat to Africa’s Wildlife The South African Minister of Health recently made it known that South Africa is about to resume the use of DDT for the control of mosquitoes, “because of the escalating number of human deaths in Africa due to malaria”. And she...
  45. Ron Thomson

    Botswana's Elephants

    Botswana's Elephants A Review of the Intercommunications between Kevin Leo-Smith & Derek Flatt- Maun Botswana Following Ron Thomson’s submission of an article on Botswana’s lions and all that has followed since that time. I am pleased with the productive interactions that are now...
  46. Ron Thomson

    Culling Elephants

    Culling Elephants At the end of February 2007 South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) announced that culling was to be included in a range of management options to control Kruger National Park’s excessive elephant population. This decision has stirred up the...
  47. Ron Thomson

    Big Game Hunting Memoir

    Big Game Hunting Memoir Ron Thomson is at last writing his African big game hunting memoirs. The planned program comprises six volumes the first of which is nearing completion. Altogether these books record the history of the author’s remarkable life in a colonial Africa that is long gone...
  48. Ron Thomson

    Big Game Hunting Memoir

    Big Game Hunting Memoir Ron Thomson is at last writing his African big game hunting memoirs. The planned program comprises six volumes the first of which is nearing completion. Altogether these books record the history of the author’s remarkable life in a colonial Africa that is long gone...
 
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