Botswana: Elephant Hunting Stabilises Ecological Balance


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Dec 18, 2015
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Botswana: Elephant Hunting Stabilises Ecological Balance


By Ndingililo Gaoswediwe

Gaborone — Southern Africa harbours the largest population of elephants on the continent, with Botswana's population estimated at 130 000 against a 54 000 carrying capacity, according to the 2011 Elephant Management Survey.

This large population of elephants creates an ecological imbalance in their natural habitat.

That is confirmed by South Africa True Green Alliance chief, Mr Ron Thomson in a statement that 'Botswana is currently carrying between 10 and 20 times too many elephants and for over the last six decades, they have been trashing game habitats and massive biological diversity losses'.

"Wildlife is a wild product of the land just as cattle, sheep and goats are tame products of the land, and they should both be used wisely and sustainably for the benefit of Botswana's rural people," he adds.

Although elephants are Botswana's tourism magnets, these jumbos kill humans, damage farmers' property, raid and destroy crops and contribute largely to the ecological imbalance due to loosing some species.

It is against this background that Mr Thompson, a veteran African game warden and elephant management expert, is appreciating Botswana government for understanding the need to create an ecological balance between soils, plants and wild animals in the interest of the country's biological diversity.

He says, "President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is on the right track to restore health and vigour into Botswana's ailing wildlife management scenario."

After assuming power last April, President Masisi called for a review of the hunting ban and after thorough consultations, the report was recently presented to him and will be presented to Cabinet and Parliament thereafter.

After submission to the President, there was a backlash from international media and tourists against the government, but Mr Thompson encourages Botswana not to listen to rantings, which he labels propaganda.

He advises the SADC community to unite, take cue from Botswana government and come up with initiatives that will see the region selling legally acquired wildlife products.

"These countries of the SADC need to regain their sovereign rights to practice wildlife management in the manner that they see fit," Thomson says.

Source : BOPA

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