Botswana Issues Elephant Hunting Licenses, First Since 2014

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by NamStay, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. NamStay

    NamStay AH Fanatic

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    Source: https://www.voanews.com/africa/botswana-issues-elephant-hunting-licenses-first-2014


    Botswana Issues Elephant Hunting Licenses, First Since 2014

    GABARONE, BOTSWANA - For the first time in five years, elephant hunting will be legal in Botswana, with authorities planning to issue nearly 160 hunting licenses in coming weeks.

    The southern African country says the elephant population has gotten too big and needs to be curbed.

    In May this year, Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting, citing growing conflict between wildlife and humans.

    The country has an elephant population of more than 130,000, more than double its official capacity.

    Seventy-two licenses will be given to non-citizens and will be awarded through a bidding process for next year's hunting season, expected to begin in April.

    Another 86 licenses have been reserved for locals, and are being awarded through a nationwide raffle system.

    Participation in the raffle is high. Maun, a wildlife zone in the northwestern part of the country, saw 5,990 locals jostling for just eight elephant hunting licenses reserved for the area.

    The government has said the licenses are not transferable, but a raffle winner, who preferred anonymity, says this makes them less attractive.

    “It would have been ideal if the hunting licenses were transferable so that as a local, I can sell it to an international hunter to raise money,” said the license holder. “As it stands, the benefit is the meat and keeping the trophy."

    Locals pay $800 for the license, and hunters will be accompanied by wildlife officers for the hunt.

    The trophy, including the tusks, cannot be exported and should be kept by the license holder.

    Despite the high interest in hunting licenses, Maun resident Boniface Keakabetswe feels the $800 fees was too steep, particularly for rural communities.

    "There were raising concerns about the license price that is paid once people have won the elephant (licenses),” Keakabetswe said. “It is around P8,000 and they were saying that many people who are living in communities, who are part of the people who have applied for these licenses, are poor and many of them cannot afford the P8,000."

    A farmer, Davidson Mapetla from Gobajango in eastern Botswana, where more than 250 elephants have moved into human settlements, says the allocation of hunting licenses was not balanced.

    "It is a pity that there are only areas that have been identified for hunting,” Mapetla said. “The hunting licenses that have been issued, I want to tell you, it is not going to help us here. The only thing that we are going to have here is another death, another destruction of crops."

    Botswana's minister of environment and natural resources, Kitso Mokaila, says the hunting season will start off "slowly and cautiously."

    He says quotas were allocated in areas where there is increased conflict between humans and wildlife.

    The first session of the hunting season runs between September and November.
     

  2. GA Hunter

    GA Hunter AH Fanatic

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    It’s a start.
     

  3. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    160 licenses doesn’t seem to be a lot or will it make a dent in a population of 130,000. But you are right it is a start. I just hope that it is enough for communities to benefit, safari operators to make a profit and to fund strong anti-poaching teams. Not sure about any of that. If it doesn’t it will add more fuel to the antis fire. “See hunting didn’t stop any of the problems associated with the elephants, it’s not the answer!” Time will tell.
     

  4. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    If I remember correctly, only about 400 tags were being issued annually prior to the closure.
     
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  5. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    The 72 licenses for the non locals are going to generate a lot of interest.
    It’s a good start and I’m glad the country of Botswana realizes that controlling the ele population is necessary or human conflict will simply escalate to drastic measures being taken.
     

  6. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    It won't control numbers but will give meat and income to communities. ..along with jobs in the hunting areas....so they will be benefiting. ....then hopefully it will expand to more communities who are having conflict issues.
     
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  7. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner AH Enthusiast

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    Need to be able to export trophies including tusks to the US and else where, for this to really be beneficial for everyone.

    But it is a, although weak, start.
     

  8. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

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    Understand initially only Leopard and Ele of the dangerous game to be hunted. Hopefully more to come.

    Scrummy
     

  9. Brent in Az

    Brent in Az AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    At that rate, it will take over 400 years to reach official capacity. Not factoring in the Elelphant birth rate, poaching, or natural mortality.
     

  10. tigris115

    tigris115 AH Fanatic

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    They probably have such low numbers so they can practice the model with a manageable, easy to think about quota. I assume once they get more comfy, they'll go higher on cull tags. I'm also really hoping that Bots gets some lion tags.
     

  11. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Elite

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    I think to get the numbers down they need to market a few cull hunts. Kinda like the community elephant system. Plenty of meat for the locals and one heck of an experience if you cant import to your home country.
     

  12. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    The Botswana election went in the right direction for hunters last week. It appears that elephant and buffalo quota will be issued for the 2020 season. I am wondering if anyone knows the current USFW position on ivory imports from Botswana. I seem to recall that it was still categorized with Namibia and RSA, i.e. imports with CITES permits are allowed. However, I'd like to run it to ground.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated!

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2019

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