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Attitudes towards culling

yellowstone bison elephant hwange badgers brumby brumbies culling

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#61 Game Warden

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 06:25 PM

 

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#62 Bugs

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 09:59 AM

On the subject of the lions in Bubye valley. There is an article Lion Culling - a paradox of banning trophy hunting

 

As already discussed - much about the article is sensationalist, and not related to the ban in trophy hunting at all. Its just that Bubye have found themselves with too many lions and have decided to reduce the numbers. A few years ago, the cull would have gone ahead unnoticed, but now everyone has an opinion and while the media are trying to get mileage some other people are seeing this as an opportunity to milk the donor. 

 

In the article Pieter Kat reasons that 15 lions per 100sqkm is already double what they should have, and the lions should ultimately be between 4 or 5 lions per 100sqkm. So we are in agreement that Bubye have too many lions. 

 

In the article Kat claims - "overpopulation appears intentional", and bemoans poor management as a reason for the overpopulation on "bad management procedures". Now if ever there was a contradiction here - blaming management procedures for the problem, but then taking offence when Bubye talk about management of the lions. 

 

In the same article Lionaid co-trustee Christine Macsween argues that 3400 sqkm does not constitute a natural environment because it is fenced off, and there to be shot. i would then guess that she would argue that Bubye valley conservancy don't contribute to any conservation cause. 

 

In another article KWS may reduce number of lions in Nairobi park by hal

 

It becomes clear that Nairobi park has 70 lions in 117sqkm. Now 117 sqkm - is a large piece of real estate, but not large enough to support 70 lions. As large as the piece of land is - Bubye is still 30 times bigger. Its doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that 70 lions is too many. 

 

So while we agree that in this case, and many others - natural or "unnatural" population surpluses occur, and management is necessary, there seems to be a substantial amount of opinion surrounding solutions.

 

So often people will agree that there is a problem, but not offer a solution other than criticism. 

 

We even agree that the African lion is facing serious challenges, but we don't seem to be able to agree on what those challenges are or how to provide a solution. So while we have identified two examples (and I could cite many many more) where areas are sitting with surplus wild lion populations, we are unable to find suitable habitat to move all those surplus animals to.

 

If the only alternative is to cull or to sterilise lions - then why on earth would anyone have a problem if those lions are trophy hunted, and the funds go towards securing the habitat and securing more habitat? The other question is how do we argue that the true threat to lions are trophy hunters and not habitat loss and conflict with humans? 

 

 


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


#63 Towlersonsafari

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 11:59 AM

Hello @Bugs there is a lot to agree with in your last post. I think I read the same articles that you have done-someone from Oxford university that does research there pointed out that with  habitat roughly similar to parts of the Kruger the density of lions at Bubye was almost double-and the cause were artificial water holes keeping game numbers high, so that trophy hunting can  be maximized. Habitat loss and human conflict are the main causes of the lions drastic fall in numbers, although one could argue that poorly regulated hunting ( and I am not saying that Bubye is an example of that) does  a great deal of harm. every little helps, so to speak



#64 Bugs

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 02:11 PM

Thanks @Towlersonsafari - one of the points I am trying to make is that the same trends replicate themselves in so many other areas. 

 

There are people who think nature should be left to sort its own problems out, but I argue that there isn't a single piece of wildlife habitat on earth that doesn't experience some sort of manipulation as a result of man. As large as Kruger park is, the size is finite. As vast at the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier park is - its finite, and there are new sources of water, and boundaries that constrict wildlife, whether by fence or by the presence of humans. 

 

Its unlikely that Bubye deliberately allowed the lion numbers to grow too big so as to increase hunting income. Note that they have 200 lions too many, an they aren't offering them to hunters, they are offering them to whoever will take them, failing which they will have to cull at their own expense. The knee jerk reaction to simply discredit them because they practice hunting doesn't fly for me. 

 

To me all wildlife habitat is important. The more habitat under protection the better. Remember that only a small amount of habitat is under government protection and two thirds of all wildlife habitat is outside national parks. If we are too fixated on single (iconic) species we tend to forget about the importance of the trees, grasses, birds, fish insects and frogs that need the same habitat. So many people are so obsessed with anti-hunting agendas that it clouds their judgement, and puts obstacles in the way of constructive conservation practice. 


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


#65 Towlersonsafari

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 05:34 PM

I agree @Bugs with nearly everything in your post.It is doubtful if there is any habitat totally unaffected by man and it is the environment and all that goes to make that work that we as humans have a duty and obligation to protect.Sometimes that can work by concentrating on one species. Sometimes private initiatives work. Sometimes well run hunting may be the answer as much as I dislike it! It's perhaps the quality of management that is the key
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