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Calvin Cottar, Cottarís 1920ís Safari Camp. Kenya


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#21 Game Warden

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 07:44 PM

Really enjoy reading your thought provoking points Calvin, appreciate you taking the time to post.

 

Matt


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#22 GreenEye

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:56 PM

Brilliant interview, thanks Calvin not being PC and saying what you believe! Can't agree more as about hunting policy. I am from Hungary and in Eastern Europe clearly we have the best hunting management for a century, which is coming back in numbers and in quality of habitats as well. And those habitats are - of course - good for other creatures as well, incl. birdlife and invertebrates, fundaments of the ecosystems and real diversity. There is a huge income from hunting here whice is shared properly between the hunting associations, landowners, state, etc. As soon as you cross our borders to any direction, this picture disappears in a minute, they simply too "green", or just stupid, and thats a total failure. Safari Club International made some really good example on species level as well, including Markhors in Pakistan, and all these models should be introduced back to Kenya. 
The only major issue which keeps me very pessimistic in Africa is the population boom, which is a total disaster... have no idea what to do with it. I don't believe in the education mantra, sorry!
Cheers, Lajos



#23 johnkok

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

I think this interview should be required reading for any one who wants to offer an opinion or critique on this issue - before offering one.

The equation starts off with homo sapiens and money, and develops from there. Where population pressures are extreme (India, China) or increasing (the rest of Asia, now also so many parts of Africa) the issue is beyond urgent, and the outlook is beyond dim. From this point of view (human population pressures), would you not think the Siberian Tiger has a much better chance of surviving in the wild than the Bengal and Sumatran Tigers? I'm pretty sure wild tigers disappeared from China a long time ago. From this same perspective, would Botswana not have a better outlook than say South Africa and Kenya?

And when you add money to the mix? Just consider one parameter - the opportunity cost of land, the land on which so many of us want the wildlife to run free - and where does this take your thinking? Without even going to the issue of corruption, just consider the value of the rainforests of Borneo - first, clearing the primary jungle brings untold riches unlocked from selling the timber. Then comes the recurring income from palm oil production when you have oil palm estates as far as even the satellite's eye can see (tycoons in this part of the world "have" to swan around in private helicopters to survey their fiefdoms). For now, there's probably a better chance for the lions and elephants in Kenya than for the tigers of Sumatra. But that too might change for the worse.

I'm so glad that there are people like Calvin Cottar here, who has obviously thought about the issues with a bit more depth, and who put forward suggestions (even where they might go against the grain) which at least offer some hope. They go way beyond the usually simplistic arguments I often come across, and sound like realistic approaches for the near future.

Edited by johnkok, 25 May 2013 - 07:38 AM.

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#24 PT123

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

Intellectually I understand the pragmatic argument for managed hunting as part of a greater wildlife management scheme. However, I have a difficult time endorsing the killing of animals for enjoyment.  I believe that trophy hunting is a sadistic, egomaniacal exercise for the paying client.   



#25 johnkok

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 01:07 AM

Intellectually I understand the pragmatic argument for managed hunting as part of a greater wildlife management scheme. However, I have a difficult time endorsing the killing of animals for enjoyment.  I believe that trophy hunting is a sadistic, egomaniacal exercise for the paying client.

I do not think it's a given that a landlord (& "wildlife owner") will HAVE TO allow hunting in order to make the property economically more valuable than using it for agriculture and livestock. The community of safari goers (generally richer than the community of villagers at the destination; the others amongst them have already visited our cities and shops and have the crocodile skin shoes and snake skin handbags) can probably have some influence on this over time. Perhaps one of the ways is the direction that Calvin is alluding to and which Sangeeta picked up on.

Right now, it's hard to tell the lip-service-paying safari operators from those who are genuinely giving a significant portion of income towards enriching the local community (if there is even any). Enriching some absentee landlord alone or some bureaucrat in some distant office doesn't quite cut it. Seeing the grinding poverty of the villagers surrounding Ranthambhore nailed this in my own mind. They also get their young children to walk through the National Park just to collect firewood. If a tiger harms a kid, both will be harmed. And the death spiral continues.

#26 Anita

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 02:21 AM

I agree @johnkok. I am one of those ( and one in a majority here on ST) who abhors hunting and killing of wildlife for sport. It will always be my last refuge. However the threat to wilderness and wildlife has ceased to be hunting (if it ever was) and the economic opportunity cost of the land in this hungry rapidly growing world is the biggest threat. To that end, the line drawn in between hunting and photo tourism must be blurred so that the line can be clearer between saving the wilderness or giving it up to farming, wind power projects, industrial activities etc. If this is done in a way where hunting is an option, but kept as a last resort option, I think its only fair to be open to the ideas Calvin has spoken about in this thread. 


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#27 TravelinTeacherAU

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 02:30 AM

What an interesting and thought-provoking interview.

I'm in the early stages of my safari addiction, mowing through books and articles about Africa. I recently finished "White Hunters" by Brian Herne, where I first learned some of the Cottar history. So, as soon as I saw this thread title, I knew I needed to read.

This conversation marks another point in my continuing education about the political/economic elements of conservation.

Growing up in Alabama, I'm used to a culture of hunting, though it was never an interest for me. I've happily eaten venison freshly taken by a friend. I fished often through my adolescence, and we threw back or ate what we caught.

However, I was reflexively appaled by the idea of someone wanting to kill an elephant, lion, or leopard. Perhaps because of their inherent beauty--perhaps because I've never had to live in contact with them long enough to see them as a nuisance/threat.


The more I've read on this site, the more I'm evolving into a pragmatist on hunting. I'm also coming to believe that wildlife management decisions should be made by the people who live daily with the wildlife. If some hunting is what will create the best chance at wildlife conservation, then it should be part of the equation.

Thanks to GW, Mr. Cottar, and others who chimed in with questions. This website is such a great resource, and I appreciate the opportunity to keep learning more about Africa and conservation.

Stafford

 

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