Sustainable Hunting - a Major Conservation Tool in the 21st Century

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AFRICAN INDABA, Mar 21, 2011.



    Aug 21, 2009
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    Sustainable Hunting - a Major Conservation Tool in the 21st Century

    "Sustainable hunting will continue to be a major conservation tool in the 21st century. It conserves wildlife populations and biodiversity in general, whereas hunting bans can speed up extinction," said the President of the CIC Tropical Game Commission, Dr. Rolf D. Baldus, at a WFSA conference during the international IWA-Outdoors Classic trade fair in Nürnberg. The conference on "Hunting and Sportshooting in the 21st Century" was organized by the "World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities" (WFSA). The WFSA represents over one hundred million sport shooters from all around the world.

    There is no reason for hunters to be defensive or to hide their passion. The high expenditures of hunters all over the world and their investments into the conservation of natural habitats are major and often critical contributions to maintain biodiversity. At the same time this saves the taxpayers millions of dollars or €uros, which they otherwise would have to spend for the same purposes. The income hunters provide for landowners serves as a powerful economic incentive for the conservation of nature.

    “Total protection of wildlife and hunting bans often achieve the opposite,” Dr. Baldus said, “as they remove the economic value of wildlife, and something without value is defencelessly doomed to decline and in final consequence to extinction.”

    The CIC is, therefore, very concerned about the present effort of a coalition of anti-hunting and animal rights groups to list the African lion under the US Endangered Species Act. This would outlaw the import of lion trophies into the USA. All large cats, which have been thus formally protected for decades are indeed more and more endangered: the tiger, the snow leopard and the jaguar. In Kenya the lion has not been legally hunted for over 30 years and during that period, the lion population size has crashed to roughly about 10% of the neighbouring Tanzanian lion population, which has been hunted all along the same period! Bans clearly not only do not work, but accelerate the extinction of species.

    Wild lion populations outside national parks only have a future if rural people see a direct benefit of living with lions. Official and controlled hunting encourages the lion range states to leave hunting blocks as wilderness and refrain from converting them into pastoral rangeland and agricultural land with little biodiversity left. Banning lion trophy hunting or creating barriers for hunters to take home legally obtained trophies removes the economic as well as management and law enforcement incentives that are necessary for conservation. These counter balances were removed in Kenya that downgraded the lion to vermin, and led poor rural herdsmen to poison lions with easily obtainable insecticides. It is difficult to prevent retaliatory killings when livelihood strategies are threatened: the law is reluctant to impose stiff sentences that compromise poverty alleviation. Conservation authorities cannot defend their justification to conserve lions in such circumstances.

    It is a disgrace to observe how the animal welfare organisations follow a neo-colonialist approach. They want to force sovereign African nations and poor rural people to adopt their Disneyland-like version of African nature. Banning lion hunting is a first step to terminate all official hunting in Africa. It aims at depriving developing countries and rural communities from earning necessary revenues from biodiversity. This is a direct violation of the main principles of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD). The CIC is confident that the United States will not follow this ill-conceived petition of the animal rights organizations.

    During the conference, the WFSA presented their "Sports Shooting Ambassadors Awards" to the Namibian Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and Ms. Marina Lamprecht of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) for their achievements to conserve Namibia's wildlife through hunting tourism.

    Ms. Nandi-Ndaitwah explained that wildlife has more than tripled in recent years, as hunting tourism encourages landowners to have game on their land. Wildlife has turned from a cost into an asset. This has been the case on farms and ranches, but more importantly many rural communities have formed their conservancies, and the income from wildlife now contributes to their livelihoods. Game is back on land where it became extinct a long time ago. And with the ungulates the predators return. "Namibia is the No. 1 cheetah country in Africa," said the Minister. She condemned all kind of unsustainable and unethical hunting practices and underlined that they are not tolerated in her country. "Come to Namibia and hunt," she encouraged the international hunting community. "By hunting you help Namibia to keep its wildlife for future generations."

  2. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

    Apr 10, 2010
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    Thank-you for this article, Gerhard.

    This re-afirms what we all, as hunters and true conservationists are already aware of, the basic, but fundimentally effective, concept of renuable resources being funded by the user and being managed, protected and conserved for by the operator.

    Wildlife conservation and propigation, land-care and improvement, ecosystem protection are all benifits being provided by finances generated from the hunting sports sectors, not to mention the spin off benifits for local communities.

    Exclusion from wildlife does not work, as the example of Kenya's wildlife history is shown above, and you can add the pityfull state of India's wildlife scenario to that as well.

    I have read elsewhere where objective research has shown that eco-tourism impacts on the land equate to some seven times the "footprint" impact per dollar earnt when compared to safari hunting venture.

    In fragile ecosystems this can have a devastating impact.

    Unfortunately, for the emotional and those unprepared to educate themselves with the physical evidence, the emotive anit-hunting argument propogated by today's sensationalist media is an easier pill to swallow and far more trendy.

    I'd like to know just how much revenue has been raised by the "antis" for the conservation of the lion in Kenya since the ban of sport hunting ?
    I'd like to know what anti-poaching efforts have been made by the "antis" since the removal of anti-poaching systems previously provided by the safari companies ?
    I'd also like to know how the "antis" have recompensed local communities in Kenya with loss of revenues once generated by the safari industry.

    The real threat to worldwide wildlife and fragile ecosystems is increased population and human encroachment. What solution do the antis have for the real problem ?

    Emotive arguments supporting the baning hunting, from the anti hunting brigade, lack foundation in fact.

    The above article by Gerhard highlights the positives and value of sport hunting and I for one would like to encourage Gerhard to post more.

  3. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

    Jan 18, 2009
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    Great artical! The only thing the anti's get is satisfaction from stopping hunting. They have no solutions or anything else to the problems which occur from no hunting. As long as there is a value on the animal the species will survive & be plentiful. as with kenya & other places which banned hunting - things look mighty bleak!!

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