...... and again @douglaswise
I don't believe my understanding is partial. On the contrary, how I live and where I live means that my understanding is driven by an existence within such systems along with the people who are directly involved.
I don't suggest that mass culling (elephants, seals etc.) doesn't meet the environmental objectives stated by the pro-cull lobbyists, I categorically state it.
Drill down on any mass cull action and it will come down to economics, dressed up for us greenys' benefit as ecologically beneficial. What I do suggest is that the economic objectives are actually primary, not secondary. Call it as it is and stop hiding behind a green screen. This is what Namibia is doing and I actually applaud their honesty, despite my belief that mass culls are not ecologically or economically sustainable in the long run - there will be fall out.
This brings me to my last 'implicit suggestion' that ecological is good and economic is bad. It wasn't the intended suggestion at all. If Namibia, a truly democratic and quite forward thinking nation where wildlife numbers continue to increase, believes their economically driven policies to cull seals and hunt desert elephant and rhino is beneficial to both wildlife and people, should we be condemning them? Personally I don't condone what they do regarding seals, elephants and rhinos, but I cannot condemn actions that are quite literally feeding a nation. Just don't coat it in b******t. What I would hope for is something to replace mass consumptive use. Fence sitting perhaps, but it is a complex issue.
Natural in the context of large swathes of Africa is definitely not an illusion!
The Serengeti ecosystem has pretty much remained the same for aeons - it remains a completely natural phenomenon. Many such examples exist across the continent. The mentality that humans are separate from the rest of the natural world is half the problem. Please do an internet review of Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) to see what is being achieved in just one part of the continent to allow natural integration of people and wildlife. It is doable! If I don't believe that this and other such global initiatives will work then I might as well go and commit the ecologists form of suicide.
Man will always strive to manage his environment - it is part of our evolved genetic make up, but I would hope that MANagement becomes less egocentric and more (dare I say it.....yes, yes...) Holistic. Mass culls, for me, simply do not fit the bill. If any authority adopts such policies, they should be honest about the economic reasons and let the photo-tourism chips fall where they may. Then accept the resultant economic consequences when the tourist refuses to visit that country, such as I am reading on forums and twitter after Namibia's recent public revelations. Pay to stay? Fewer tourists will if mass culls are adopted, but now I am rambling.