Matias Cox

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About Matias Cox

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    Understanding the challenges facing the conservation of species and biomes in Africa.

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  1. @ForWildlife: Is this serious ? Can not you understand the main synthesis of the text ? I tried to generate elements through the last 12,000 years that could substantiate or not the existence of rhinos in Western Africa. Dr. Kees Rookmaaker has set his temporal yardstick over the past 500 years by focusing on colonial clues.The evolutionary constitution of the two species of rhino is thousands of years old, and using only the evidence of the last five centuries as a criterion of territorial occupation is insufficient to formalize a concrete opinion for a future "reintroduction". The issues of security, financial cost, income generated, difficulties of visualization for tourists, financing of donors are all aspects sourced by you. Can you prove or provide information that Dr. Anthony Hall dispensation implies that the AP no longer considers science and ethics in conservation issues?
  2. Rhinos in Pendjari, very well quoted by @inyathi and documented by Dr. Kees Rookmaaker, demonstrate that the data of the last 500 years are not reliable to evidence their occupation in West Africa. The historical period known as Sahara green features numerous rhinoceros prints / paintings scattered throughout the vast green world - Ahaggar / tassili - Air Moutains - Ennedi Massif - even in Morocco (Ait Waazik / Tazarine-Zagora, valley of the River Draa), denoting that they were present in these environments. We know that such evidence spread in the Sahara desert can not determine whether or not they were in the larger area of the WAP complex. However, this is conceptually very important because it shows that its occurrence was geographically very wide and its reduction was a result of habitat impoverishment due climate change. The current fossil record may provide the answer to this missing gap to assert or deny its former area of occurrence for periods prior to these modest 500 years, primarily in the land strip comprising the center of Nigeria, spanning the WAP complex and following up the Senegal. I quickly tried to get historical information from the texts of Suetonius, Martial and Cassius Dio who has good information on the animals used at the inauguration of the Colosseum in Rome in the year 80 in their more than 100 days of uninterrupted games, where about 5,000 to 8,000 animals were killed. In the case of the animals used in the Coliseum, as well as in the 50 to 70 amphitheaters scattered throughout the Roman territories, it is evident that due to logistical facilities, North Africa played a fundamental role in providing elephants, giraffes and lions. In the 600 years in which the games were part of the Roman culture the rhinos of both species were very valuable for such exhibitions. Unfortunately there is no reference to where the rhinoceros actually came from - the continuous supply implied a large collecting network - everything indicates that it was concentrated in today's Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, not excluding northern Kenya, Uganda and even Tanzania. Rhinos were rare in Egypt since the earliest dynasties. Elephants and giraffes from northern Africa were extinct at the end of the Roman period and probably the Atlas lions did not find the same destination due to the continuous genetic flow with western lions across the coastal roads. When it comes to reintroductions, I do not share narrow and restrictive thoughts that prohibit the restoration of a species or subspecies due to the lack of real evidence of its occurrence in a given area. I believe more in analyzing biomes, biological aspects and other ancillary studies such as phylogeography that may together favor or not a species / subspecies. The fact that one does not prove its historical occurrence should not be the only assumption that determines a future reintroduction. Just trying to replicate what wildlife was like in the recent past may not be a good model for the future. As it is a project in its first year, the affirmation of the interest of reintroducing rhinoceroses should best be framed as a product of the intentions, since the introduction of this animal should be part of the last conservation efforts after succeeding in the intended restoration process. We must not forget that it is an alien species and it should not be easy to obtain legal authorizations / licenses with IUCN / CITES. It's more a case for thinking than actually implementing.
  3. I remember the unfortunate events in which Pendjari passed in the most critical period of 2014/2015, due to the crisis of co-management between CENAGREF and AVIGREF, many members of the latter were accused of participating in organized crime (hunting and ivory trade). AVIGREF should demand a lot from the AP, its political power is high. Does anyone know about his role in the current management of Pendjari?
  4. Great news There was a probability of being a captive lion! 20 years separate the last sightings of lions, and due to the distance between Bateke and Odzala / Kokoua it is possible that it is a lion from the area of Léfini Faunal Reserve. If this lion is still alive the reintroduction of lions of the Complex Benoué, Pendjari or Zakouma would retain its differentiated genetics, strengthening this new population. We must also recognize that any new population of lions relocated to live on the Bateke Plateau will constitute a single population (insular) and there is no practical means of genetically contaminating any populations of nearby lions. "A survivor who has found in the densely forested area a refuge, an adaptive behavior that has never before been witnessed. With a delay of three years, now definitely this specimen has an enormous conservation value"
  5. Congratulations, noble friend! Enjoy this trip to Zakouma - the new mecca of photographic tourism. Your $$$ will contribute to the full development of this paradise. Bring news about the huge area now run by AP Big hug.
  6. @ForWildlife: I congratulate you for your dedication in defending your thoughts. Do not worry about "proving your ideas". Academic discussions have other addresses. The study titled: "The impact of sport-hunting on the population dynamics of an African lion population in a protected area", which I will use as an example, has excellent demonstrative graphics, and many readers do not give much importance to them, only in the analyzes of the researchers. For example, the chart on page 7 is generously elucidating the dynamics and population movement, presenting the enormous disturbance that trophy hunting causes. Often researchers do not focus on all the aspects that the chart can provide, since these aspects distance themselves from the primary focus that the study wants to present. Studying them can be a rewarding task. Messrs. Loveridge, Packer, Whitman, Yamazaki, Yamaguchi and the legendary Schaller have contributions immeasurable in the study of the lion. Thanks for the great published documents.
  7. Very interesting @COSMIC RHINO. The mechanisms that unite matriarchal societies are very complex. It is clear from the Study that orphans are segregated, have less social ties with adult females, have more elusive behavior, remain at the margins in certain routines, are closer to young people and other lower status members; orphans usually do not approach the matriarch. It seems that your stay in the group has a lot to do with being "tolerated." The "personality of the orphan" seems to be a preponderant factor in their ability to form a bond and to adapt socially to the group. It is only a few remarks to a study that presents many questions that focus on the difficulties for the survival of the orphans.
  8. @MikkelRH Very good your Infographic! By the way, very didactic! A great educational tool to teach young people and adults about hunting and its direct consequences for the animal species involved, and indirectly towards conservation in general. "The educational approach is capable of changing the mentality of future generations, and including the conservationist theme in the school curriculum would yield immeasurable results, After all, Education is able to make it natural to give up certain advantages for the benefit of wildlife." It is impossible to save the entire diversity of our planet by imputing an economic value to each of our species. We must understand our interdependence with the plurality of life. Note: For formal use in Education, it would be necessary to exclude the final part on donations, adoptions and fundraising.
  9. Kebbel is dead: The systematic death of desert lions is a commonplace and predictable fact that I prefer to reserve for mourning.
  10. Please look for the Topic posted a couple of hours ago by @COSMIC RHINO: "tree loss in chobe more likely to be human started fires than elephants" read the article and you will have a great surprise.
  11. This study will "illuminate" the elephant issue in northern Botswana. It is a great relief to note that the human factor is always in the forefront of deforestation, erosion, among other destructors of the earth. The view that elephants need to be reduced prevail in this forum almost unanimously. It would be very good if this study could be moved and presented to certain topics that are currently discussing this subject, to argue against this view. Another important thing is the government's involvement in this study, focusing on their concern, to understand and seek correct solutions to such problems. "Leave the elephants alone."
  12. Mr @Bugs presented in post 54 a Study and in post 55 another Study and, to whom it may concern, I will comment a little on the two study in question, I emphasize that both serve their purpose well and I believe that it is necessary to read about the subject. Both deserve better attention. Thank you for submitting your studies. 1st STUDY NAMED: Illegal Bushmeat huntIng In the Okavang Delta, BOtswana (DrIvers, Impacts and pOtentIal sOlutions) AUTHOR: FAO - FOOD anD AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED NATURES. CO-SPONSOR PANTHERA BOTSWANA PREDATOR CONSERVATION TRUST It presents excellent data and a realistic content of the problems caused by the high bushmeat rate in the Okavango region, with very clear conclusions as to causes and effects for the wild population as a whole, proposing clear and objective way, notably through the involvement of communities in proposing greater economic involvement with wildlife ..... makes an interesting observation: most hunters are those who own land and livestock, and do not directly face poverty , makes use of hunting only by the criterion of easy opportunity since the Penal Law is soft, and the meat used, even when it is not used commercially, it substitutes the need to use its domestic cattle (demystifies that poverty is the motor leading poaching). Another finding is that the biggest victims are not the big animals (buffaloes, giraffes and elephants). Excellent document, a more comprehensive reality on the problematic conservacionales that the whole Okavango is passing through, including its formally unprotected area. 2nd NAMED STUDY: Effects of the safari hunting tourism on rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Northern Botswana. AUTHOR: Joseph E. Mbaiwa ROUTLEDGE - TAYLOR AND FRANCIS GROUP As the title suggests, it presents the negative consequences that the end of the trophy hunting imposed on the survival of communities and wildlife. It uses the "Social Exchange Teory" as a motor of development for the communities, in the which is very useful in terms of conservation. The problem is to inform that the trophy hunt provided many of the socioeconomic benefits until then (2014) and since its rupture the "social pact" has been broken and the community revolt provoked this poaching. It is a study laden with pro-hunting ideology, wildlife reduction and increased poaching are direct results of this suspension. Forgets that many of the problems of wildlife reduction and poverty community was already present in these places well before 2014. It is an immediate study aimed at instilling in readers a premise that before the ban the communities enjoyed numerous benefits and were satisfied with this model of sustainability.
  13. My post fulfilled its role ... it helped to develop the topic. I focused on the main subject line: the report, the content of which does not really have detailed information on how the process culminated in the realization that today Botswana enjoys a clear success in its conservation policy. It is easy to see that "functional disagreements" revolve around the end of trophy hunting in this country. It is a new situation, very recent and its developments will only be palpable from here a few years ago. Every paradigm shift provokes contrary reactions, whether true or not, classist or not. We know that it is only natural that the closure of trophy hunting concessions will lead to an increase in poaching and, of course, the closure of some jobs. As none of us reside in this country, reality is presented to us by ideologies, or rather by interests that are unknown. The opinion of a resident and non-conservation safaritalker could provide objective and practical criteria for what is really happening in Botswana. @douglaswise, your questions are pertinent. The fact that photographic tourists visit Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe is not to say that they have full knowledge that the trophy hunting is being done a few kilometers from their safari. Even if the trophy hunting is made officials who cater to photographic tourists are fully targeted to omit any mention on the subject, as well as tourists and hunters never meet, are targeted to different areas, the shots can not be heard. both you and I can not prove that Khama's policy in the short or even medium term will be a success or a failure. See Kenya as an example that since 1977 must prove that the exclusion of trophy hunting was not a mistake. What I expect to happen in Botswana is the development of "communal areas of conservation or something close to it," perhaps approaching the model employed in some areas of northern Kenya. The immediate response to be fought after the end of a hunting concession is the habitat threat, these areas can not become public areas for purposes other than conservation. The loby pro-hunting is powerful and rich $$$. I see Botswana with good eyes approaching Kenya, after all we do not yet know the moral and ethical values that will guide conservation in the future, and in some places Kenya is turning this page. However, from my point of of this concern is expanding in a global movement aiming at a non-consuptive tourism as a rule. One issue that worries me a lot is the human population increase (population explosion). Public policies have yet to account for the serious problem this will cause, with or without trophy hunting, wild habitats will be swallowed and wild animals will be managed intensively and in ever smaller habitats - such as domestic animals. As a conservationist, the Ethical issues regarding the upkeep and exploitation of wild animals are very important and I believe that this fact does not infantilize my opinions ... I could talk to you about the areas that really depend on the trophy hunting to keep (such as the Benoué Complex) and future opportunities will emerge. According to HSI reports a few years ago, which included Botswana, it said the following: Total trophy hunter's economic contribution represents a maximum of 0.03% of GDP according to economists' estimates. Foreign hunters account for less than 0.1% of tourists in the region, accounting for only 0.78% or less of the total value spent by tourists and have a "minimal impact" on employment, generating approximately 0.76% or less jobs in the sector of tourism. Not to mention that it is a very strong symbolism - cultural heritage of the era of colonialism, notably the imperialist movement emerged in the mid-nineteenth century - play-groud of European nobles. The hunting institute is a backwardness for all of Africa, perpetuates in cultural terms, as well as in the popular imaginary that Africa is a continent still submissive to the wills of its exploiters. @Paolo, I honestly did not understand the central idea of your post, you subdivided it into 7 paragraphs and there is no connection of ideas between them. In paragraph 3, information on the death of 100,000 animals per bushmeat is staggering mainly because of the Okavango, pesticide issues of the 1980s and 1990s have nothing to do with the current consequences of Khama's policies. Paragraph 4, which says that eco-tourism does not contribute to conservation ..... This sentence thus released, without greater depth of detail ..... is such a complex subject that it is able to format a Master's thesis.. Paragraph 5 is puzzling - bad with Khama worse without it !!!!. Paragraph 6. Answer: no country in the world has a moral basis for anything, are fragile and respond to the political and institutional context of the moment. The fact that Botswana has already lost recently for 2x its rhinos do not affect the population reconstruction of the present, on the contrary demonstrates the country's involvement worldwide with conservation, not only because it is an emblematic animal but because it is the most expensive animal $$$ for maintain and develop. Paragraph 7 - I fully agree. @wilddog, perfect in his considerations, and his final paragraph says it all. After all, we would participate in a forum that belittles our opinions or inhibits us from writing them. @optig, Despite being relatively new here it is easy to see in their posts their concerns about ethics and conservation, valuing non-consuptive tourism as a model of conservation to be followed. Your concerns about elephants are salutary. Congratulations to all, Matias
  14. Botswana zero tolerance policy is the key to its success. There are many people and associations dissatisfied with the course of this country, notably the progressive functional extinction of trophy hunting concessions. Ian Khama is developing an ethical conservation project, whose main foundation is the direct confrontation against poaching, the courage to use the army in this fight, and of course, harsh judicial measures - there is no more tolerance for poaching under any pretext. That is what South Africa lacks especially in Kruger, there are countless evidences of corruption in its judiciary. There are two judges who are notoriously absolved of blatantly caught criminals hunting rhinos and elephants, there is a certain lawyer who in collusion with both manages to acquit criminals with several pending lawsuits. The sad finding in South Africa is to see a country that has embraced conservation for many decades let its judicial system become disconnected with the real needs of fighting environmental crimes. It is unacceptable for Kruger to lose 6,000 rhinos in less than 10 years for poaching. Missing report mention the high number of elephants that inhabit Botswana in a permanent way, abandoning their old migratory routes, because they found a safe refuge. We must not forget that in Botswana the animals mostly roam free of fences. I am not "against" the trophy hunting. It is important for the conservation of habitats in remote areas of Africa, whose tourist visitation is insipient or even non-existent. Research has already proven that tourists prefer to visit areas, regions or even countries that do not own trophy hunting. Many people have not yet realized that the complex issues that address animal ethics are rapidly gaining in the attitude of tourists, being less and less in people's minds, the distance that previously separated domestic animals from the wild. Note that the practice of trophy hunting that is currently practiced in the private reserves adjacent to the Kruger (Timbavati, Klasserie, Umbabat, ....) are hidden from tourists' minds, as knowledge of such practices could affect the Kruger as a whole. With the exception of noble and ethical hunters we all prefer to spend our $$$$$ in countries ethically committed to conservation. I've watched dozens of trophy hunting movies or videos and never watched one that clearly and objective portrayed this: "Fair Persecution".
  15. @joliverself very good your report Simple and very nice text to read with great photographs. No doubt the Welwitschias are incredible. Concerns about the conservation of certain species in Tswalu are salutary, we can not forget that the financial cost of dividing your area into two is very high. According to studies, the survival rate of wild dogs is directly linked to the density of lions in a given area. Your information is valuable, and Tswalu will be seen with more attention. Since you were in the Hoanib Camp, I feel like going to the Purrus or Sesfontein community camp to try to visualize the rare desert lions, but with the bad news of the past few years the interest has faded away. When I go to visit a region I need to believe in the Project that is being developed for this area, I need to trust its future in the long term ..... for me it makes no sense to visit a region and be one of the last ones to photograph a certain animal that is doomed to disappear by governmental neglect. Congratulations.

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