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LeopardID

Crowd-funding used to eliminate legal hunting

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The Leopard ID Project posted this yesterday on its FaceBook page - IMPORTANT!!! - All wildlife lovers:

Hypothetically, if we were to start a crowd-funding project to raise money in order to keep game reserves 'afloat' financially and therefore to deter wild animals from getting hunted and shot, would you support it? We are aware that without the much needed funding from legal and ethical hunting we cannot fund most of our game reserves and therefore the conservation of our wildlife would be basically impossible. We are not talking small figures, for example - R1million Rand or US$ 100,000 to save one male lion that was declared 'unnecessary'. So, would you support this crowd-funding idea in order to eventually banish hunting and do you believe that this idea could work?

 

If you are unsure what it is, it would be a good idea to google it. People are using it to raise money for many different 'projects'. Hope this explains how we'd fund it. Secondly, with regards to poaching/illegal/unethical hunting - this has so much to do with greed and education. That is a whole different topic in itself. Let us focus on the legal hunting side for now and try use crowd-funding as an alternative as it is something we might be able to abolish within the near future using crowd-funding.

Edited by LeopardID

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I honestly don't see the point. Seems like another money making scheme.

 

Perhaps the money would be better spent somewhere else. Like to stop poaching in Kruger for example.

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I'm a little surprised Dikdik at your response as you've often made the point that sport hunting is necessary to fund conservation, as photo tourism is less financially rewarding, depends on tourists who want to go to the best areas not the marginal areas, provides private game farmers with an income etc.

 

So if crowd funding actually raised big dollars to support conservation why wouldn't that be a good thing? Why would more money go into the organisers pockets of this, than currently goes into the pockets of professional hunters?

 

Will it be that people who are pro hunting, remain committed to that no matter what alternatives are offered?

 

I'm not trying to make an argument because as has been told to me on many occasions, if you don't live in an African country your views are of little consequence, however, I find it interesting to think that perhaps the divide between hunters and non hunters is about far more than conservation and the arguments for and against will never be resolved.

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I just don't see the point.

 

Crowd funding is welcome as is eco-tourisim. I just question the sense in replacing sustainable income with one that probably isn't, and ask if it wouldn't be better spent elsewhere.

 

Why not approach poorly funded community conservation projects to help them establish a worth for wildlife? Whats the point of offering alternative income for conservation projects that are already self funding - or in fact businesses, rather support something that needs the funds. Or even better give a community a kick start to farm wildlife where they can gain a sustainable income from it.

 

Important note - Donor funding is not sustainable.

 

The way I understand the proposal is that we (very generous donors) pay hunting outfitters for game so that they don't hunt it.... Doesn't make sense. Or does this only apply to lions and leopards? Even so, Why not work with a community to allow them to see a benefit in farming wildlife for sustainable use? It is true that the greatest voids of wildlife are in community areas and not on privately owned land. The problem is the only people who see benefit of wildlife are predominantly white owned farmers. Why can't communities see the same benefit? And at the same time expand wildlife into community land.

 

This topic is also more towards the South African conservation model, and by making such a suggestion, you are assuming that the conservation model based on sustainable and consumptive use in South Africa is not working. You will have a hard time trying to prove that. There isn't a single game farmer/game owner, game reserve or national park that does not or has not benefited from sustainable use in South Africa.

 

Put quite simply, there is a great gap in the market to post emotional pictures of dead leopards at the feet of hunters, and coax money towards stopping this, but there is not much money to be made offering a community project where a community can be uplifted and benefit from wildlife through sustainable use. - Oh and when the leopards move in to the areas where they once were persecuted by the villagers for skins and muti- lord forbid that they offer R1 million to have one hunted legally.

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I'm probably not really qualified to say much about this, but since the topic is crowd funding, which relies on donations from the general public, I feel like general opinions and questions will come into play.

 

Whats the point of offering alternative income for conservation projects that are already self funding

 

This was my first reaction, too. If hunting areas can currently contribute to conservation on their own, why not direct crowd funding towards areas that currently have no conservation income at all (whether from tourism or hunting)?

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Good points from you both. I always find it helpful to have thoughts expanded on, makes it much easier to understand the debate.

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Lets take this one step further. USA have a huge appetite for hunting. Bears, Mountian lions, and plenty of deer - now why not suggest that we do the same in USA? Generous donors will buy up all wildlife so that it won't be hunted.

 

Why should Africans not be trusted to manage wildlife sustainably? Why should donor funds - predominantly from USA be used in Africa to stop something that is common practice in their own country?

 

I am sorry - I just don't get it.

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Lets take this one step further. USA have a huge appetite for hunting. Bears, Mountian lions, and plenty of deer - now why not suggest that we do the same in USA? Generous donors will buy up all wildlife so that it won't be hunted.

 

Why should Africans not be trusted to manage wildlife sustainably? Why should donor funds - predominantly from USA be used in Africa to stop something that is common practice in their own country?

 

I am sorry - I just don't get it.

Not sure I get the argument but just because there is a huge appetite for hunting in the USA, doesn't mean that there isn't also a ground swell of opposition to that hunting. Safaritalk is a place to talk about solutions for African wildlife, therefore it is not really to the point whether wealthy donors buy up wildlife in other countries. Perhaps there is a forum where those things are discussed.

 

The subject of hunting has little to do with the world trusting Africans to manage wildlife sustainably, and more about the many people around the world looking for alternatives to managing and conserving wildlife. I also think it is a misnomer to talk about 'Africans' as if there is no difference to the way a South African would run conservation, given their backgrounds and county's history to, say, a Congolese with a totally different background. It just muddies the water.

 

It is fairly obvious to most of us that there is also a ground swell of opinion in some African countries that they do not want to continue down the hunting trail for the management of their wildlife. For them, finding alternatives in the short term, whilst they reach an equilibrium in funding their wildlife departments is probably what they need.

 

I would imagine that donor funds, if they do come from predominantly US sources, would be from people who don't support bear or mountain lion hunting and probably deer hunting as well. Fighting the hunting fraternity in the US versus supporting efforts in Botswana, for instance, would be a completely different matter.

 

It may indeed seem hypocritical for anyone who is extremely pro trophy/sport hunting, but for others it would appear to be a logical step towards finding alternative ways of protecting and supporting conservation in countries where poverty and GDP is so much lower than their own.

 

People who are very convinced with the logic and obvious correctness of their argument will always find it hard to debate a different point of view and find any positives. People who are uncertain with what the final outcomes will be will continually be looking for answers and balanced debates. I find it about as pleasurable as discussions with rabid followers of any side of politics. No matter what the opposing side does or says, there will never be any good to be found.

 

In the meantime, the pro and anti hunting/trade/utilisation debate continues unabated. I would love to see more debate on other methods of utilisation of wildlife populations as I think this is left in the dust of the furore over hunting and ivory/rhino horn trading.

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It just seems common practice that the rest of the world tries to impose their ideals on Africa. Yet hypocritical, when they try and stop practices in Africa which they readily do in their own country.

 

 

 

It may indeed seem hypocritical for anyone who is extremely pro trophy/sport hunting, but for others it would appear to be a logical step towards finding alternative ways of protecting and supporting conservation in countries where poverty and GDP is so much lower than their own.

 

Its actually hypocritical for anyone who plays a part in the wildlife industry in South Africa to refute sustainable utilisation. The only people who criticise sustainable use have no interest in wildlife.

 

I do understand that hunting is distasteful for many people, but I honestly don't see this scheme working at all. Sure, they may raise some money, but they are missing the point completely. The major threat to leopards is conflict with man and in KZN leopards are being poached at alarming numbers for their skins. http://www.toskinacat.org

 

So we need to ask if we are 1. trying to stop hunting 2. trying to save the leopard and 3. trying to collect donor funds.

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Crowd-funding has proven to be sustainable, as it is not a once off donation as defined. Even though there is a risk of the 'crowd' drying up, surely a worldwide crowd can support this, even if only in a few reserves / projects annually. People can donate as little / as much as possible.

 

The Leopard ID Project Southern Africa, does not accept donations. We heard of a wild animal that will be shot. We are using this as a forum to get people's opinions on whether they would support crowd-funding in a case like this. We were not arguing anything / against anything. Hunting has it's place, but if we could remove animals from being shot altogether, surely this would be the goal, except for people ebenfiting from hunting financially?

 

We believe that if tourism isn't booming, a "false" hunt may be advertised, in order to gain some funding. This could be mitigated by an Independent board of trustees governing each crowd funded 'project', with each 'project' then being audited for authenticity. Do you believe this could mitigate the risk that you have raised?

 

There are many threats to leopards and conflicts with man is one of the kost prominant. What we're suggesting is that we eliminate leopards being shot in national parks & private reserves for money. It's simply saying that we can try eliminate some of the 'conflicts with man'.

 

Poaching, illegal hunting, etc is another topic altogether.

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