Hunting as an Acceptable Management Tool for Conservation

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    Oct 1, 2007
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    Hunting as an Acceptable Management Tool for Conservation
    by K.C.D. Hamman PH Lloyd & J.C Stadler, CapeNature (formerly Western Cape Nature Conservation Board)


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    The South African game and hunting industry has made a major contribution to the conservation of game species, but problems that have developed in certain aspects of the industry are now taking on such proportions that the credibility of all role-players are being adversely affected. Provincial conservation authorities are partly to blame for this state of affairs. Current problems in this industry viewed from a conservation perspective include: genetic manipulation, for example, through the artificial selection and breeding of recessive colour phenotypes, the deliberate mixing of known races of game taxa which could result in significant depletion of the genetic integrity and diversity of natural populations; game taxa that have increasingly been introduced to areas outside their natural distribution ranges may lead to competition, hybridization, inbreeding, destruction of habitat, or even other abnormal defects, including the introduction of foreign pathogens and parasites; hybridization of closely related game taxa which is of great concern to South African conservation authorities as it makes no contribution to either nature conservation or the long-term survival of these taxa, and severely affects the integrity and long-term viability of the game industry; the breeding of rare game varieties for trophy purposes may lead to undesirable levels of inbreeding or, still worse, hybridization of subspecies; significant impacts on the habitat can be caused by the introduction of undesirable invasive or alien game taxa and deliberate modification of indigenous vegetation; and in general, unregulated relocation of animals can also have a variety of other unfortunate consequences.

    South African conservation bodies are also to blame, since there are currently no national norms and standards in place for the translocation and introduction of game species outside their natural distribution ranges. As a result little has been done over the years to inform and guide the game and hunting industry adequately. The availability of up-to-date information is a further problem, as limited information is available on important aspects related to the SA game industry. The conduct of some hunters, including professional hunters, is currently a source of concern to all role-players in the industry. Conservation authorities are currently investigating irregularities with regard to permits and unacceptable conduct. Certain joint solutions are suggested, to contribute to the establishment of a platform for constructive collaboration between all role-players.

    Download the entire article at View attachment 2757 .
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016

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