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A tense situation arising in South Luangwa

lion hunting

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#41 Geoff

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:07 AM

The so called males Ginger & Garlic territory is well away from the Nsefu sector. They were alive and well in late Sept' in the park opposite Kafunta River lodge.

 

I saw 5 big males in the Hollywood prides territory also in late Sept'. 3 were the so named Numbu boys and 2 new males that Patrick from Mwamba camp had never seen before. At the time the Hollywood males were across the river in the Nsefu sector. The Numbu boys were trying to extend their range and were busy chasing the Hollywood females and also mating with the Mwamba/Kaingo females. Unfortunately there are a number of young cubs in both prides that might be killed by the Numbu males. I watched one of the Numbu males chase 2 one year old males from the Kaingo/Mwamba pride whilst their mother was mating with another male.


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#42 pault

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:00 AM

That's a very interesting post @Sangeeta and I look forward to Part 2.

Personally I wish it wasn't posted on Page 2 of this thread. Of course people have an idea about all this, even me (which of course is why I supported your announcement of the dreaded petition) but I personally would like to see this posted in the open. It's kind of insulated here by a layer of bunny warmth on page 1 and I am not sure all of those who could learn something from it would ever see it. Also, although Internet discussion is often unappetizing it would actually add a kind of "peer review" to this. But perhaps it has already had a sort of peer review in various posts in the past? Fair enough, if so.

One immediate thought. While the map of lion killings is damning, there is surely a natural tendency for wildlife and therefore lions to be drawn to the river. As a lion it is where I would go to hunt. It is also likely to be prettier and have fewer tsetses than the areas away from the river, so more attractive to hunters and even trackers all else being equal, It would be very interesting to see a breakdown of lion sightings in the national park too, at least from a couple of camps, to show that the lion killing sites are not simply where the lions tend to be, on both sides of the river. Collared lion tracking data would likely offer an even better demonstration. I also imagine that lions tend to cross the river at certain times of year, when water levels are low? Is that true and if so have you checked that the killings occurred at times of year when lions would cross?

Also if you are going to share this more widely, regardless of personal opinion you might want to add an explanation of why, theoretically, GMAs are generally agreed to be a decent idea and why hunting has historically been seen as the only way to sustain the GMAs. It might take any discussion (actual or just in someone's head) straight to the issue at hand rather than getting tied up in whether hunting in the GMAs is good for conservation.

But that's just me!

Great work Sangeeta and anonymous conspirators. Much respect to you for the effort.
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#43 pault

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:03 AM

I just saw that you asked Matt to do what I suggested. Great minds think alike. Ignore the first bit then! I'll see whether I should transfer my post too later... It's not all that substantial.
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Waiting again... for the next time again


#44 janzin

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 12:50 PM

Thank you @Sangeeta for this detailed report, excellent research. I must say its especially dismaying to see the map of the lion kills, and how they are almost all right by the river, (understandably, as was pointed out) and even more disturbing, how most were in very close proximity to safari camps.


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#45 egilio

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 05:13 PM

One immediate thought. While the map of lion killings is damning, there is surely a natural tendency for wildlife and therefore lions to be drawn to the river. As a lion it is where I would go to hunt. It is also likely to be prettier and have fewer tsetses than the areas away from the river, so more attractive to hunters and even trackers all else being equal, It would be very interesting to see a breakdown of lion sightings in the national park too, at least from a couple of camps, to show that the lion killing sites are not simply where the lions tend to be, on both sides of the river. Collared lion tracking data would likely offer an even better demonstration. I also imagine that lions tend to cross the river at certain times of year, when water levels are low? Is that true and if so have you checked that the killings occurred at times of year when lions would cross?
 

You are right, lions are naturally attracted to the river. As game populations are higher there, and they need to drink regularly too.

But look at the map, the colored dots are exactly what you ask for, locations of radio collared lions, with each color representing a different pride. You can see that most prides spend at least some time in the GMA.

There are no kill sites inside the park, as hunting isn't allowed inside the park. 


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#46 egilio

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 05:33 PM

What a great post and a well done summary of available facts of which some might be hard to access or understand for some people. If anybody has any more questions on the paper from Creel, or on the leopard paper, please let me know!

 

Estimates suggest (2) that the monitored lion sub-populations in Zambia’s three largest national parks (Kafue- 264 assessed in 2011, South Luangwa – 94 assessed in 2012, Lower Zambezi – 11-34 assessed in 2009), might be as low at 307 – 465 lions in total. A lion population of 500 is widely considered the minimum population size (Packer et al., 2011) to sustain an adequate gene pool, and/or survive other overbearing threats, or stochastic events (as being witnessed in South Africa’s Kruger National Park lion population and Bovine Tuberculosis) (3) having a potentially devastating impact on the population. There is no monitored Zambian subpopulation greater than 500 lions.

 

This is simply not true. The Kafue estimate was for the northern part of Kafue only, the Luangwa estimate only for an area of about ~2,000 sq km around the border of South Luangwa, the estimate for Lower Zambezi is only for the valley floor which is a tiny part of the whole park. To then add these three estimates and present them as the size of the populations of these three parks is wrong. I don't know how many lions there are in the whole Luangwa valley, and you can't extrapolate the estimate from the small area which is studied for several reasons. A: Lion population density is strongly correlated with prey density. Prey density in the study area is very high, likely the highest in the whole of the Luangwa Valley, so likely densities of lions elsewhere in the valley are lower, but unless you know anything about those lions, or the prey populations, you can't say how much lower.

B: In the study area the negative effects of snaring have largely been removed. For example over the past 5 years or so 20 lions have been de-snared, and 101 cubs have subsequently been born to those lions. Elsewhere in Zambia snaring is a big issue too, but there is nobody to remove those snares, thus they likely have a big impact on both lions and prey populations (and other carnivores too obviously). 


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#47 Sangeeta

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:18 AM

Thanks for following along, guys. @Game Warden - Matt, could I please request you to copy these last few posts (from page 2 - post 39 onwards) over to this other thread please - it is called : Collecting facts, figures and hard data on trophy hunting. 

 

I had started this topic in 2015 but never found the time to populate it, so this discussion is as good a place to get that started as any.

 

I have also stumbled upon a number of articles that have been posted right here on ST by our own members that are germane to the discussion, but they are scattered all over the forum. I will try and put links to them into the same thread so we that we have everything under 1 heading - making it easier to discuss and debate.

 

Many thanks - Sangeeta


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#48 egilio

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 04:54 PM

The last week only 1 Hollywood male has been seen. 



#49 Sangeeta

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 05:38 PM

Any of you who have been recently to SLNP or who know guides, hunters, lodge people - anyone at all - please could you use your contacts to ascertain if the 2 Hollywood Boys have been seen together on any occasion starting Oct 16? It would be one heck of a coincidence if we started to see just one of those 2 from the very day we got reports that a lion had been shot in Upper Lupande.

Please, please help us ID the hunted lion. There are reporting requirements laid down by CITES and if these hunters arw doing things by the book, they need to provide tissue samples and photos to ZAWA after the hunt.

@ZaminOz - could you ask your dad to pitch in, if at all possible? This is no longer the same industry you knew all those years ago, and I am sure he will say the sane thing.
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#50 lmonmm

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 11:52 PM

I am starting to become actually physically nauseous following this thread. I know this was not about hunting or not, but.......nauseous  :(   And so sad, discouraged, ......



#51 Kitsafari

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:32 AM

The last week only 1 Hollywood male has been seen. 

 

i saw those 2 males 2 years ago - they were not spotting full manes which suggested they were still very young. and two years later, they are still very young. to "take" or kill them when they are so young will result in a repeat of those years when the strong genes and young males are wiped out and will eventually deplete the already low lion population. I sure hope Zambia knows what it is doing for tourism. 


Edited by Kitsafari, 19 October 2016 - 01:34 AM.


#52 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 02:39 AM

The last week only 1 Hollywood male has been seen. 

 

 

Is there a chance that the one male took off on a patrol mission somewhere - got something big to feed off (buffalo?) - and then slept for a few days?


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#53 ZaminOz

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 03:23 AM

@Sangeeta

I'm not sure that my dad could add much to this debate (...is it a debate...or a missing lion search?), he hasn't hunted anything bigger than feral pest rabbits on his farm in Aus in over 30 years! And I'm not quite sure what it is you would want him to opine on anyway, but I am confident that he doesn't know the whereabouts of two specific lions in the Luangwa Valley.

 

His general view on the professional hunting industry in Zambia though (as has been expressed to me in the past) is that during his time (over 3 decades ago), much like any occupation, there were good honest people involved and dodgy unscrupulous people involved. In his time he had some of the dodgy people in both the hunting industry and the wildlife department kicked out, however he is now out of touch with the goings on given that most of his contemporaries have retired, passed away or he has lost touch with them over time.

 

The last time that my family were in South Luangwa (photographic/tourist safari) was in 2014 and the hunting ban was still in effect. Various people in the tourist industry who spoke to us (from general camp staff and game scouts to guides and owners) mentioned to my dad and I that while lion numbers in the park in particular appeared higher, the incidents of snaring and poaching in the GMAs had increased markedly and most felt that the government should revisit the ban on hunting as long as they took a far stricter and tougher stance on ensuring that ethical hunting practices were maintained and that quotas were better (ie more conservatively) calculated, particularly in relation to lion and leopard. The consensus was that with no wildlife related activities taking place in most areas of the GMAs, poaching had increased.

It isn't often reported in these debates, but my understanding is that the ban (actually it was a moratorium), rather than being imposed on the Zambian hunting fraternity was implemented following consultation with the Professional Hunters Association of Zambia (as well as other stakeholders such as ZAWA and the tourism industry) and had their full support.


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#54 egilio

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 05:24 AM

 

The last week only 1 Hollywood male has been seen. 

 

 

Is there a chance that the one male took off on a patrol mission somewhere - got something big to feed off (buffalo?) - and then slept for a few days?

 

 

There's that chance, so I simply stated the fact. 

The other male has been seen on 4 days now, recently on a buffalo kill with the nsefu pride.



#55 egilio

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 05:33 AM

It isn't often reported in these debates, but my understanding is that the ban (actually it was a moratorium), rather than being imposed on the Zambian hunting fraternity was implemented following consultation with the Professional Hunters Association of Zambia (as well as other stakeholders such as ZAWA and the tourism industry) and had their full support.

The moratorium came into effect because the minister of Tourism at the time halted the tender process for the hunting concessions as she had reasons to believe it was corrupted. In fact she didn't have the power to do this, so later they changed the reasoning of the moratorium being that there were concerns about elephant, lion and leopard numbers and more should be known about their numbers. There is some data about elephants, some good data about lions in an area of South Luangwa, some data on lions in northern Kafue, and very little data about leopards (only in a small area in South Luangwa and bordering GMA).

 

Another odd thing. When the moratorium came into place, hunters pointed out that these areas would be overrun by poachers. But currently most operators in Zambia are fully booked this season and next season, while operators in Zimbabwe are struggling with some of them 90% of their hunts not sold. Why would trophy hunters rather go to areas which have been poached out for three years, than to areas which where there was trophy hunting but poaching controlled by the operators? I'm not saying the snaring hasn't increased in the last couple of years, it has increased, but it was already increasing before the moratorium came into place, and this year, with hunting returned, it hasn't come down either. 


Edited by egilio, 19 October 2016 - 05:35 AM.


#56 ZaminOz

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 06:06 AM

@egilio,

 

In the annual reports of Conservation South Luangwa for 2013 & 2014 (the years of the moratorium) Rachel McRobb wrote in her summaries (page 4 - 2013 report & pages 3-4 2014 report) that the hunting ban had caused additional pressure on their conservation activities and that poaching/snaring had increased (by implication as a result). In her 2015 summary, she noted that overall snaring/poaching was lower than previous years - see page 13 of the 2015 report - (I'm paraphrasing as I can't lift direct quotes due to my office computer using IE). Now I am not saying that the decrease in snaring in 2015 compared to 2013 and 2014 is directly related to the lifting of the hunting ban as I am sure that the arrival of the air patrol plane and the sniffer dogs played a major role in that as well, but I am just responding to your closing comment in your last paragraph above.

 

The annual reports are to be found here:

 

http://cslzambia.org...annual-reports/

 

PS there may be many other reasons why hunters are booking Zambia rather than Zimbabwe... one being the rather obvious, it is Zambia... a nicer place to visit than Zimbobwe... ;)


Edited by ZaminOz, 19 October 2016 - 06:07 AM.

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#57 marg

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 02:05 PM

Both Ginger and Garlic were seen last night.


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#58 Kitsafari

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 03:55 PM

@marg Is it confirmed and from good sources? If ao, that is the best news ive had today.

#59 egilio

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 04:01 PM

I'm pretty sure the spice boys are OK indeed.

 

@ZaminOz The 2015 snaring numbers were down, but if that was due to the plane, detection dogs or hunters is hard to disentangle. Usually when a new tactic/tool is employed it's very effective in the beginning, but then poachers adjust to it and work around it. We'll see what the numbers will be this year, but what I've heard it's not great.


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#60 Sangeeta

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 04:11 PM

@ZaminOz - hoping this will not devolve into a hunting/non-hunting debate, because that would be a waste of time really. What I want to achieve from this thread and this discussion are the following things:

 

1) Everyone tells us that trophy hunting is a good thing IF it is not corrupt, IF it is managed using sound practices, IF it is done ethically, IF it is regulated etc etc etc. Well, I have heard these arguments endlessly and I am using this case as an example to see what is actually happening on the ground.

 

2) From your dad, I only wanted to know if he could help us ID the lion hunted on Oct 15-16 in Upper Lupande through his contacts, but I now understand that he's no longer involved at all, so no worries about that.

 

3) The lifting of the moratorium with the consent of all stakeholders is not particularly reassuring to me at least. From what I can see here, whether it is the photo operators, the hunting operators or the other stakeholders, everyone seems to be turning a blind eye to what is really happening on the ground.


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