Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

To trade or not to trade..

rhino elephant trade ivory horn poaching

  • Please log in to reply
291 replies to this topic

#281 inyathi

inyathi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,989 posts
  • Local time: 04:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 November 2015 - 12:29 AM

Further to what I said about vicuñas, I’m not sure if this article has been posted before but the following article explains why the vicuña example shows that legalisation won’t save rhinos.

 

Legalizing Rhino Horn Trade Won't Save Species, Ecologist Argues

 

Importantly, the trade in wool wouldn't reopen until after vicuñas had recovered in the wild. That didn't happen at the same pace in each of the vicuña range countries, or even within each country, with some populations remaining in jeopardy.

 

This is something that's happening for rhinos and elephants and other wildlife in Africa and presents a major challenge to "sustainable use"—that is, you can't guarantee that by starting a program of trade in a place where the animal is in abundance, you won't drive the animal to extinction through illegal use where they're still in danger.

 

While the vicuña populations in northern Chile are currently out of danger of extinction, the populations in the south are not.

 

 

This is the fundamental point that pro-traders @Bugs have not satisfactorily addressed and is basically much the same point I was making earlier, legalisation must not seriously jeopardise the survival of East African black rhinos in Tanzania or lesser one-horned rhinos in Nepal. If my fears are unfounded and these rhinos really will be better off once the trade is legalised then explain to me how? Convince me that these rhinos will be genuinely safer once horn can be sold legally internationally and I will change my view entirely.


  • ZaminOz, Sangeeta, Kavita and 2 others like this

#282 Sangeeta

Sangeeta

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,728 posts
  • Local time: 11:14 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Washington DC metro area
  • Category 1:Tour Operator
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 30 November 2015 - 12:57 AM

Thanks, @Bugs, for your measured response.

I honestly have no problem with people making money - good for them, etc. But it seems that either I have been unable to express my concerns or the pro-trade side does not wish to address my concerns.

As Rob explained so carefully in one of his posts above, the southern black & white rhino are not the only species of extant rhino. Since rhino horn consumers don't differentiate between one horned and two horned rhino, southern & northern rhino, black & white etc. what may lead to a good situation for your captive bred and farmed rhino in SA will almost certainly lead to a bad situation for wild rhino living in countries that don't have the same economic resources to protect their animals that rhino farmers have in SA.

I derive 2 things from rhino farmers & pro-traders in SA based on what they say and what they don't say:

1) that they have been very successful in increasing their captive rhino populations;
2) that it is neither their duty nor responsibility to help protect wild rhino in other countries from the profits generated by their farmed products in SA.

Peter above is one of the very few people I have read here who has actually flat out said that rhino farmers in SA are not liable to contribute towards the protection of wild rhinos elsewhere unless such a thing is written into some section of a trade agreement.

But if it is SA policy & lobbying & laws that will almost certainly determine the fate of rhinos in other countries (and this is the belief of the anti-trade people), then surely you must agree that these SA farmers are morally and ethically obliged to help species that may be wiped out completely as a result of their trade policies?

Or are your side saying that no, legalized trade in horn will actually decrease the risk to wild populations in Nepal & India, for example? On what basis can you say that? Please note that the economic models that make so much sense in a SA context are meaningless in other countries with entirely different sets of contexts.

Even though I don't wish to be cynical about this, it seems to me that SA rhino farmers will be very well pleased indeed to see the extinction of wild rhinos in other rhino range states as this is precisely what will give them complete monopoly over a very lucrative market. Perhaps that is why they are so silent on this point?

If this were not the case, and they were genuinely concerned about the fate of ALL rhino, and not just their breeding stock, then they would surely give at least some thought as to how their lobbying will affect these other species of rhino?

Which brings me to your other point - yes, this is clearly an economic decision from a sector of the economy that functions on the trade of wildlife and wildlife parts. If that is what SA wishes to do,, then it is SA's prerogative and we can't stop it. But:

1) some of us do not consider this to be conservation. Rather, we consider this to be cash crop farming (which is fine too - just don't want pro-traders to call an apple an orange);

2) when SA's actions have a direct impact on the fragile rhino populations of other countries, we also call this market manipulation, and feel that is incumbent on us to point out that in reality, SA is only looking to establish a market monopoly for its own product, and that SA's policies will likely lead to the extinction of all rhino save those that it farms.

I believe that if there really are conservationists among this group of farmers, they would be looking out for the welfare of more than just their own cash cows. If such is the case, I would be glad to hear from them/about them, but as long as the welfare of wild rhino in other countries generates no response from the pro-traders, some of us will continue to oppose legalization.
  • ZaminOz, Kavita and Tom Kellie like this

Zindagi na milegi dobara... Chalo Africa
You only live once...Go To Africa

www.chaloafrica.com


#283 Sangeeta

Sangeeta

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,728 posts
  • Local time: 11:14 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Washington DC metro area
  • Category 1:Tour Operator
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 30 November 2015 - 01:00 AM

@inyathi - you are an encyclopedia :D

Thank you for the many lessons you provide us here! They are ALWAYS enlightening, regardless of where I may come down on the issues.
  • inyathi, Towlersonsafari and Tom Kellie like this

Zindagi na milegi dobara... Chalo Africa
You only live once...Go To Africa

www.chaloafrica.com


#284 Bugs

Bugs

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 3,503 posts
  • Local time: 05:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Category 1:Resident in Africa/Former resident
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 November 2015 - 03:26 AM

Communities can benefit from legal trade 

 

Communities in South Africa can benefit from the implementation of legalised trade in rhino horn. So says Mr Michael Murphree, a researcher at the African Centre for Disaster Studies on the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU).

“Legalised trade in rhino horn will not only significantly improve these communities’ quality of life, but will also lessen the pressure on the government to combat illegal poaching,” says Michael. 

Michael is of the opinion that the South African government’s view point of establishing limited trade in white rhino horn is a huge economic opportunity. “When a rhino is dehorned in a responsible manner, it grows back to its original length within two years.”

“Currently South Africa has approximately 75% of the world’s rhino population – just more than 24 000 rhinos. One rhino can generate millions of Rands’ income if taken into account that these animals’ life expectancy is between 35 and 50 years. In order to save the rhino we need to be resourceful and creative rather than sticking to old approaches such as blanket trade bans that have clearly failed to protect the rhino.”


  • Tom Kellie likes this

There's none so blind as those who will not see.


#285 Bugs

Bugs

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 3,503 posts
  • Local time: 05:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Africa
  • Category 1:Resident in Africa/Former resident
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 November 2015 - 03:28 AM

 

 

Importantly, the trade in wool wouldn't reopen until after vicuñas had recovered in the wild

Now that doesn't make sense. The reason you are trading in wool is to reduce poaching, and to reopen it later doesnt make sense. 


Edited by Bugs, 30 November 2015 - 03:29 AM.

There's none so blind as those who will not see.


#286 ZaminOz

ZaminOz

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,988 posts
  • Local time: 11:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Perth, West Australia
  • Category 1:Born in Africa
  • Category 2:Conservationist/Naturalist

Posted 30 November 2015 - 04:18 AM

Meats such as beef, lamb, mutton, pork, even game meats are legally available in shops around the world, there is a thriving legal market for meat. However, the existence of the legal market does not stop bush meat poachers from poaching and selling their poached meats on the illegal black market. Some bush meat poachers poach for their own consumption, but most poach to sell the illegal meat. 

Does bush meat poaching harm the legal commercial meat industry? No.

Will rhino poaching outside South Africa harm the South African legal rhino horn industry? Probably not.

But bush meat poaching harms wild populations of game and rhino poaching will still devastate wild rhino populations. Changing the legal status of horn from privately owned rhino, IMHO will do nothing to protect wild rhino populations anywhere in Africa or Asia.


  • egilio, Kitsafari and Tom Kellie like this
*******
Warning, if any safari camps wish to employ me as a guide, I expect a salary far, far, more commensurate than my actual experience!

#287 Towlersonsafari

Towlersonsafari

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 654 posts
  • Local time: 04:14 PM
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Northamptonshire
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 November 2015 - 08:40 PM

@inyathi thank you so much for your masterful summary of the croc situation. The £64000 question is are there any lessons to be learned from croc farming/ranching that can be applied to rhino horn? Is the individual price of crocs so low that coupled with the quality issue you mention it makes croc poaching a much less lucrative option? Sorry to bombard you with questions!

#288 jeremie

jeremie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 727 posts
  • Local time: 12:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 November 2015 - 08:45 PM

 

 

Another article on Mongabay about vicuña wool legalized trade. 

It is said legalizing stimulated the trade and led to poaching.

 

http://news.mongabay...-iconic-vicuna/

 

 

I find this quite funny - the Vicuna populations grew from 6 000 to 360 000 during a period where the wool was traded without having to kill the animals. They wouldn't have 360 000 Vicuna's if they didn't do that. Its a bit like the argument I heard the other day about the water shortage in SA - that the dams were built too big - thats why they are taking too long to fill up. 

 

 

Well, I have no opinion about the vicuña wool trade. I always thought the vicuña was saved through trading its wool, but this specialist who is a reference in Chile, states that the population started to increase a long time before trade was legalized. I guess this is correct.



#289 inyathi

inyathi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,989 posts
  • Local time: 04:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 01 December 2015 - 01:18 AM

 

 

 

Importantly, the trade in wool wouldn't reopen until after vicuñas had recovered in the wild

Now that doesn't make sense. The reason you are trading in wool is to reduce poaching, and to reopen it later doesnt make sense. 

 

 

@Bugs Whether it makes sense to you or not that is what happened.

 

The downfall of the vicuña started with the Spanish Conquest the estimated population in 1500 is put at 2 million by 1967 the population was just 10,000 in Peru in 1968 7,500 were counted back in 1957 there were thought to be 250,000 in Peru. Even at various times during Peru’s colonial history people realised that vicuñas were seriously declining and should be protected, in the 20th century various laws were introduced on paper but they were never properly enforced and did not have the desired effect. It wasn't until Peru established the Pampa Galeras Reserve in 1967 that they really started to take the matter seriously and introduced stronger laws and for the first time actually enforced them properly. This was really the first time in 435 years that serious steps were actually taken to protect the vicuña and save the species from extinction. In 1979 Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador came together and signed the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the vicuña recognising the economic importance of the vicuña and supporting the concept of sustainable use, however it was until 1993 that the main populations in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina’s were high enough for CITES to agree to take these populations off Appendix I and place them on Appendix II allowing international trade to start, this finally happened in 1994.

 

The start of the trade in vicuña fibre in 1994 didn't come until 27 years after Peru first started to properly protect vicuñas and 15 years after the convention was signed, in 1994 Peru's vicuña population was put at 66,559.

 

I stated that vicuñas were introduced to Ecuador but in fact theses animals were native to Ecuador but they likely died out at the time of or shortly after the Conquest, Peru, Chile and Bolivia donated vicuñas to Ecuador starting in 1988 these animals were released into the Chimborazo Faunal Reserve on the slopes of the volcano Mt Chimborazo. As this newly established population was very small Ecuador’s vicuñas were still listed on Appendix I by CITES until 2013 only then was the population high enough that the Ecuadorean government at the CITES conference in Bangkok was able to get the Chimborazo vicuñas listed on Appendix II thus allowing Ecuador to join the trade in vicuña fibre.

 

So quite apart from anything else the vicuña range states could not start trading until CITES moved some of their vicuña populations on to Appendix II.

 

Aside from having to obtain agreement from CITES it does in my view make sense.

 

They could not have known for certain what effect legalisation would have on poaching and the black market had they jumped in too early with legalisation when the populations were still very small any increase in poaching could have been disastrous.

 

Domestic farm animals including alpacas are in close contact with people on a regular basis vicuñas are entirely wild they’re not used to being handled by people they’re not really even habituated at all, they can easily be injured during the round up and they are very easily stressed and the process of handling and shearing them is hardly unstressful. Shearing wild vicuñas had not been done for over 400 years, when the Chaccu festivals were revived people couldn’t really know exactly how things had been done by the Incas and how to handle the animals to cause the minimum stress.  Legal trade in vicuña fibre has not go rid of the black market even if it was thought that it might eventually do so it was obvious that poaching would not stop overnight, small isolated populations of perhaps only around a hundred or fewer animals would still be extremely vulnerable to being wiped out by poachers. The priority was to protect these populations and allow their numbers to recover; rounding up small herds like these for shearing would have posed an unacceptable risk to that recovery. In the early days when no one really had any experience of handling vicuñas causing injuries or excessive stress could have easily had an impact on their breeding success and therefore their recovery. There would also surely be no point in opening a legal trade until the population had increased enough to supply a sufficient quantity of fibre, otherwise by creating interest in vicuña fibre and clothing you risk increasing the demand for fibre without having the means to supply it legally.

 

The following is from a thesis entitled Peasant Communities, the First Link of the Commodity Chain of Vicuna Fiber

 

On the other hand, the vicuña fiber presents certain weaknesses as a commodity within the textile and fashion industry:

  • Vicuña, the animal, is still a threatened species and is under supervision of CITES and the States. Therefore steps for commercialization are very slow and controlled.
  • The current population of vicuña is not capable of satisfying a larger international demand for its fiber. Moreover, the slow pace of reproduction and poaching make it slow to enlarge the population. A certain period must pass in order to increase vicuña population and obtain increased production that responds to a larger demand (Interview with CONACS*, 4/12/07 Lima, Peru).
  • The scarcity of the product could not motivate some brand-name companies to buy the product, because it could not satisfy their demand.
  • The quality of vicuña fiber is not as good as years ago, It is getting thicker over time (Interview with SNV⁺, 4/19/07 Lima, Peru).
  • Peasant communities are poor and most of the time: they do not have the correct tools to maintain the vicuña environment, shear vicuñas, and clean the fleeces.

 

 

* National Counsel of South American Camelids.

⁺National Vicuña Society

 

 

The social aspect includes the way the peasants and their communities are organized. Every single community develops their own production and commercialization systems. They are organized according to their potentialities; thus, some systems are more effective and efficient. A few communities have a successful system to their annual campaign (capture and shearing vicuñas). These communities are those that have a large quantity of vicuñas. Indeed, more vicuñas brings more profit into the community. Therefore, these communities are able to acquire more resources for continuing to do business. However, small communities with few vicuñas are unable to continue and persist in the business because they do not receive enough profit to reinvest. Therefore, the possibility of growth is not given similarly to all communities.

 

 

 

Despite all the benefits that peasant communities have received through this natural resource; there are some problems in the actual legislation that are causing delays in the peasant communities’ growth and are keeping peasants in poverty. These problems include the difficulty of following the requirements by peasants and the gaps open to misinterpretation. Some of the legislation is not very explicit, nor realistic, nor protective to peasants. For instance, poachers, some intermediaries, and some businesses take advantage of peasant communities without being punished. The State has not developed legislation for economic protection to peasant communities and so peasant communities work with unfair contracts and agreements. As a result, peasant communities are exploited and gain a small part of the profit while buyers companies always gain the majority of the profit. Moreover, the lack of accountability programs in the communities and in the CCUSCSS organization (by the General Assembly) caused corruption and embezzlement of community funds. Therefore, the profit from vicuña fiber is not reflected in the communities. After shearing, the selling of the fiber is the responsibility of the peasant communities as a private business. The State is responsible for vicuña as a species. Thus, the intervention of the State and the development of an accountability program are not developed yet. For instance, peasant communities have the right to avoid inspections or supervision from the State (in the reinvestment of the income). Establishing an accountability program developed by the State will need a large investment.

 

 

One of the obstacles in vicuña fiber production is the small population of this wild threatened species; the majority of peasant communities have an average of 50 vicuñas and they can shear approximately 30 of them. This quantity of vicuña fiber does not provide wealth to their members. In addition, the caring for the vicuña and its environment (such as maintaining the pasture) is a high investment for peasant communities since most communities do not obtain a high profit for the sale of vicuña fiber. Moreover, it is impossible that peasants breed vicuña in order to increase their fiber production because of the species’ wildness.

 

 

 

Legalising the trade as well as helping to save the vicuña was supposed to lift Andean peasant farmers out of poverty, broadly speaking despite the significant increase in poaching it has at least following the rigourous protection of vicuñas largely achieved the former aim, though that could change if poaching continues to rise as for the latter aim it can only be said to have been a failure.


Edited by inyathi, 01 December 2015 - 01:36 AM.

  • egilio, Kavita, jeremie and 2 others like this

#290 jeremie

jeremie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 727 posts
  • Local time: 12:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 01 December 2015 - 01:39 AM

You are a real Bible @inyathi! 


  • inyathi likes this

#291 jeremie

jeremie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 727 posts
  • Local time: 12:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 07 December 2015 - 01:28 AM

This was expected I assume according to the information I have found from your sources:

http://news.national...nt&sf16550046=1



#292 jeremie

jeremie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 727 posts
  • Local time: 12:14 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 12 December 2015 - 09:50 PM

http://africageograp...-appeal-lodged/

 

The trade is suspended again.................







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: rhino, elephant, trade, ivory, horn, poaching


© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.