After elephant killings, Botswana mulls lifting hunting ban

NamStay

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Source: https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/...s-botswana-mulls-lifting-hunting-ban-20180912



After elephant killings, Botswana mulls lifting hunting ban

Botswana launched a review on Wednesday of a 2014 hunting ban imposed to reverse a decline in elephants and other wildlife.

The prohibition on big game sports hunting was the work of ex-president Ian Khama, a keen conservationist, to shield species decimated by hunting and habitat loss.

But lawmakers from the ruling Botswana Democratic party have been lobbying to overturn the ban, especially on elephant hunting, saying populations have become unmanageably large in parts - placing the animals on a collision course with humans.

Khama's successor, President Mokgweetsi Masisi, launched a month of nationwide consultations on Wednesday that could ring in the end of the ban.


Consultations with different interest groups, in the tourism hub of Maun, "commence this afternoon," Rural Development Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi told AFP.

"President Masisi is scheduled to meet researchers. Tomorrow he will address a kgotla (traditional gathering)."

The review comes five months after Khama relinquished power to Masisi, and just days after a wildlife charity said about 90 elephants were slaughtered for their tusks in Botswana in recent months.

Masisi's government rejected Elephants Without Borders' claims of a pachyderm massacre.

With its unfenced parks and wide open spaces, landlocked Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa, at over 135 000.

The number of elephants on the continent has fallen by around 111 000 to 415 000 in the past decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
 

IvW

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It is actually a simple calculation. No trophy hunting, the animals have no value(or at least not enough from photographic safaris alone) and poaching will escalate.

Re introduce hunting and the poaching will decrease and the local communities will not only benefit but they will see the elephants as a asset. Escalating numbers will also be better controlled and damage to the rest of the environment and other animals will be brought down.

Just reopen hunting!
 

Bruce

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When that happens I will be one if the first to go hunt there!!
 

Tom Leoni

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It is actually a simple calculation. No trophy hunting, the animals have no value(or at least not enough from photographic safaris alone) and poaching will escalate.

Re introduce hunting and the poaching will decrease and the local communities will not only benefit but they will see the elephants as a asset. Escalating numbers will also be better controlled and damage to the rest of the environment and other animals will be brought down.

Just reopen hunting!

I think this is probably the best and most succinct way to present our case that I've seen so far. The second one was Capstick's introduction to Death in the Dark Continent (IIRC).
 

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It is actually a simple calculation. No trophy hunting, the animals have no value(or at least not enough from photographic safaris alone) and poaching will escalate.

Re introduce hunting and the poaching will decrease and the local communities will not only benefit but they will see the elephants as a asset. Escalating numbers will also be better controlled and damage to the rest of the environment and other animals will be brought down.

Just reopen hunting!

You nailed it...(y)
 

Philip Glass

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So what's the best way I can keep myself updated?
If you are a member of SCI or DSC you will be getting info on this in their publications. When Botswana reopens the communications staff will distribute this information to their members. Until something official its all hearsay.
Of course whatever is posted will be reposted here on AH as well.
Many of us are eager for this to reopen.
Philip
 

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Now we need our government to rethink its ban on importation. Ya I know good luck! What has happened to this country?
 

One Day...

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It is actually a simple calculation.

Yes, it is pretty simple indeed: IF IT PAYS, IT STAYS.

Otherwise stated as CONSERVATION THROUGH COMMERCE, which is indeed
... the best and most succinct way to present our case that I've seen so far

Maybe Botswana can emulate Zimbabwe's Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) that addresses both conservation AND socio-economic communities needs.

During 1989–2001, CAMPFIRE generated over US$20 million of transfers to the participating communities, 89% of which came from sport hunting. The scale of benefits varied greatly across districts, wards and households. Twelve of the 37 districts with authority to market wildlife produced 97% of all CAMPFIRE revenues, reflecting the variability in wildlife resources and local institutional arrangements. The program has been widely emulated in southern and eastern Africa. It has been estimated by the World Wildlife Fund that households participating in CAMPFIRE increased their incomes by 15-25%. Between 1989 and 2006 the project generated US$30 million, of which approximately 52 percent was distributed to local communities to promote rural development projects. No location has benefited more substantially than the Masoka ward, which has used its revenue to improve the livelihoods of its rural residents by building a four-block primary school, a two-ward clinic, a grinding mill, and two hand-pumped boreholes, to name but a few. In addition, environmental benefits have been witnessed since CAMPFIRE's inception; elephant numbers have increased, buffalo numbers are either stable or witnessing a slight decrease, and habitat loss has diminished, and in certain regions, even reversed. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communal_Areas_Management_Programme_for_Indigenous_Resources)

An additional benefit would likely be the end of other wildlife species decline in Botswana since elephant are eating their way out of an habitat, and, in the process, destroying the understory habitat of a large number of other game species (antelopes etc.).
 
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One Day...

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Now we need our government to rethink its ban on importation. Ya I know good luck! What has happened to this country?

The US federal government has invested resources in CAMPFIRE, principally through USAID. By 1997, $7 million had been donated to the program. This support created controversy in US politics. CAMPFIRE leadership lobbied in favor of the legalization of the sustainable consumptive use of endangered species as a strategy to increase the value of their remaining populations. This position clashed with the majority preservationist, anti-hunting public sentiment in the US as well as national and international law, in particular CITES. By 2014 the US stopped the importation of elephants into the US, halting much of the hunting carried out in CAMPFIRE communities by paying US citizens, and apparently putting the program at risk.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communal_Areas_Management_Programme_for_Indigenous_Resources)
 
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WAB

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I recently returned from Maun where a good friend still holds the rights on a large concession. He is hearing that elephant is likely to reopen first with limited tags in the communal areas where problems are occurring. From there it will ease into the hunting concessions over time. This may be wrong but it is the best local knowledge I could pick up. They also expect the tags to be much more expensive than they have been in the past. More like Namibian pricing than Zim pricing.

One thing to remember, ele hunting causes a population increase through greater protection and selective harvest of older bulls. At its peak I believe Bots issued 493 bull elephant tags. I don’t think they issued cow tags. Others will know better than I, but don’t protected ele herds grow at about 2% per annum? If true, to control their herd Bots needs to reintroduce trophy hunting and cull an additional 2,000 ele per year.

We were having a braii at a friends dairy on the thamalakane river. They also run cattle on 15,000 acres near Maun. The elephant damage they sustain in the wet season is not insignificant. They and other ranchers, shoot quite a few PAC elephant on their ranches. Sounds like a great reason to be a cattle rancher!
 

One Day...

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... He is hearing that elephant is likely to reopen first with limited tags in the communal areas where problems are occurring. From there it will ease into the hunting concessions over time. This may be wrong but it is the best local knowledge I could pick up. They also expect the tags to be much more expensive than they have been in the past. More like Namibian pricing than Zim pricing.
This is very much in line with what Leo Van Rooyen (http://leovanrooyensafarisafrica.com/) was saying in August when I met him at Huntershill. He PHs in RSA and Bots among other places. His source was someone from the inside in Bots, directly involved with the project. The talk was that some licenses would be offered as early as 2019 but it would only be a handful of them.
 

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