Rwenzori

History of Nature Conservation in Africa

20 posts in this topic

I'm really interested in the history of nature conservation and I'm searching books or other texts about how it took its first steps in Africa: how parks were created, how they were managed, the conflits with the local populations, what happened after the decolonization of Africa and so on.



I have a special interest for former italian colonies like Ethiopia.



Do you know some titles to suggest me?



Even french books if you know some of them.



Thanks


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking up some of Stevenson Hamilton's books on the creation of the Kruger National park could be up your street. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the university of ohio press publishes titles on African studies including environmental history

 

 

please see

 

  • Jan Bender Shelter Imaging Serengeti a history of landscape memory
  • Christopher A Conte Highland sanctuary environmental in Tanzania's usambara mountains
  • David m Anderson eroding the commons politics of ecology Baringo, Kenya 1890's -1963
  • S Dovers et al editors South Afric's environmental history

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

add on Arusha National park Roderick P Neumann IMPOSING WILDERNESS univ of California press

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The big lie about conservation of wildlife in Africa - Daily...

www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/weekend/Big-lie-about-conservation-of-wildlife-in-Africa-/1220-3907480-w6039x/
This was such a fascinating book that I had to send a copy to @@Sangeeta. It exposes the myth of something that I know very well, that Africans simply don't value
or care about their wildlife. Furthermore, some of the NGOs including members of the board of the WWF have hunters serving on their boards. What I particularly
enjoyed about this book is that some of these NGO wanted Kenya to bring back the big game hunting but former President Kibaki refused to allow it. I don't by all means agree with all of the assertions of the authors,and feel that they do exaggerate at times. However,there is truth to some of the things that they say including the belief that theSamburus possess about elephants having souls, which is why if you kill one then it's family members will later take revenge on you.
Edited by optig
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The big lie about conservation of wildlife in Africa - Daily...

www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/weekend/Big-lie-about-conservation-of-wildlife-in-Africa-/1220-3907480-w6039x/
This was such a fascinating book that I had to send a copy to @@Sangeeta. It exposes the myth of something that I know very well, that Africans simply don't value
or care about their wildlife. Furthermore, some of the NGOs including members of the board of the WWF have hunters serving on their boards. What I particularly
enjoyed about this book is that some of these NGO wanted Kenya to bring back the big game hunting but former President Kibaki refused to allow it. I don't by all means agree with all of the assertions of the authors,and feel that they do exaggerate at times. However,there is truth to some of the things that they say including the belief that theSamburus possess about elephants having souls, which is why if you kill one then it's family members will later take revenge on you.

 

 

One of th founder donors of WWF was Prince Bernard of Netherlands - He invested a small fortune of his own families money in the WWF. I think there is no doubt that Kenya conservation policy has been a clear failure. Its abundantly clear that ownership of both land and animals is the most efficient way of saving wildlife. WWF were right to argue that Kenya should not stop hunting because the result was extreme wildlife declines.

 

African parks was co-founded by Michael Eustace, Mavusu Msimang, Peter Fernhead and Anthony Hall-Martin - their biggest donor was Paul Fentener van Vlissingen.

 

You may find this hard to believe - but Prince Bernard was a keen hunter, so was Paul van Vlissengen. Michael Eustace and Mavuso Msimang are jointly in favour of selling rhino horn, and advocate hunting as a valid conservation tool.

 

Your link to the "big lie about wildlife" doesnt work. But a book you should read is Game Changer by Glen Martin

 

For anyone interested in some history of conservation - this makes interesting reading - Game conservation in Zululand 1824 to 1947

 

One of the best books to read is the "White Rhino Saga" or "Into the river of life" about Ian Player. Hluhluwe park was one of the conservation areas in South Africa.

Another book worth reading is the story of Harry Wolhuter Memories of a game Ranger

​AND - Another book worth reading is Wankie by Ted Davison

And another favourite - "a game Ranger remembers by Bruce Bryden"

 

I believe Yellowstone National Park had a bit of a shaky start... read National Geographic link here

"At the outset, the park was an orphan idea with no clarity of purpose, no staff, no budget. Congress seemed to lose interest as soon as the ink of Grant’s signature dried. Yellowstone became a disaster zone, neglected and abused, for more than a decade. Nathaniel Langford, the failed bank clerk and railroad publicist, served as its first superintendent, at zero salary, and during his five years in the post he barely earned that, revisiting the park only two or three times. Market hunters established themselves brazenly in the park, killing elk, bison, bighorn sheep, and other ungulates in industrial quantities. By one account, a pair called the Bottler brothers shot about 2,000 elk near Mammoth Hot Springs in early 1875, generally taking only the tongue and the hide from each animal, leaving the carcasses to rot or be scavenged. That account doesn’t say how many grizzly bears the Bottlers killed over those carcasses, for convenience or profit, but undoubtedly the elk meat was a dangerous attractant that brought bears near guns. An elk hide was worth six to eight dollars, serious money, and a man might kill 25 to 50 elk in a day. “There was this massive slaughter that occurred here, from 1871 through at least 1881,” according to Lee Whittlesey, currently Yellowstone’s historian. Antlers littered the hillsides. Wagon tourists came and went unsupervised, at low numbers but with relatively high impact, some of them vandalizing geyser cones, carving their names on the scenery, killing a trumpeter swan or other wildlife for the hell of it. Ungulate populations fell, and then the carnage gradually petered out, Whittlesey told me, “until the Army arrived here in 1886.”"

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@optig Although I haven't found the link to your "great conservation lie" - I have seen a review of it by Michael Norton-Griffiths. here

 

 

A Letter To The Editor - A Balanced View??

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Book Review by Mike Norton-Griffiths DPhil

The Big Conservation Lie -the Untold Story of Wildlife Conservation in Kenya (2016)
John Mbaria and Mordecai Ogada, Lens Pens Publishing LLC, Auburn WA USA

Available from AMAZON Kindle

What is frustrating about this book is that the authors actually have something very important to say but their message is obscured by their Trump-like anger, or is it envy, focused on the motives and actions of "corrupt and greedy" European conservationists, scientists and donors, and any African unlucky enough to be associated with them.

I myself am subject to a character assassination in which my work on conservation economics is ridiculed and derided. And to what avail, one wonders? To those who know me their accusations are simply risible while to those who do not they are irrelevant. But since the authors rely solely on innuendo and invective to repudiate not only my arguments but also those of fellow conservation scientists then our work must be genuinely troubling to them.

That said, I do have to agree, albeit through gritted teeth, that the authors are in general correct in their assertion that wildlife conservation in Kenya has been been poorly served by conservation cartels dominated by European and north American NGOs. But they make no comment on how these cartels have been allowed to use their financial strength and their access to economic and political elites to circumvent what should be representative democratic processes and insinuate their often single issue agendas into the body politic. This important issue should have been addressed, for such power without accountability is a dangerous and heady mix.

The authors also fail to acknowledge or even recognise the full extent of the conservation crisis facing Kenya today, a crisis exposed in a recent analysis of 45 years of rangeland monitoring data by internationally recognised Kenyan scientists. Over this period Kenya has lost 80% of her wildlife, a devastating indictment of both conservation policy and implementation. Here is the crucial evidence that the authors should have used to censure the failure of the policies promoted by these conservation cartels and their unwise and slavish adoption by the Kenyan Government.
However, closer examination of these data suggests why they might be uncomfortable for the authors. While the rates of wildlife loss are ubiquitous across the vast rangelands managed by Kenyan pastoralists the one area, Laikipia County, where wildlife have clearly flourished over the last 45 years is largely managed by the very European conservationists they so denigrate throughout this book.

Another overlooked aspect of the conservation tourism industry are the very one sided terms of trade imposed on the pastoral custodians of Kenya's wildlife which divert as much as 95% of wildlife generated tourism revenues to the service side, rather than to the producer side, of the industry. Indeed the contradiction of wildlife guardians living in shelters made of cow dung while the conservationist elite live in Langata palaces is lost on the authors who furthermore quite mistakenly deride the new conservancy movement in Kenya through which the custodians of wildlife are at last getting a better financial deal.

The authors are obsessed by any suggestion that conservation benefits might be derived from the consumptive use of wildlife. Yet the awkward facts, once again ignored by the authors, are there for all to see. Across Africa, wildlife prospers where landowners and users have stronger rather than weaker land tenure; where wildlife ownership rights are more rather than less devolved to them; where the economic potential of wildlife is broader rather than narrower; where the costs and benefits of wildlife production are shared more equitably between producers and consumers; and where wildlife agencies adopt a more enabling approach rather than one of strict enforcement.

I do agree with the authors that both within Kenya and across Africa there is indeed a titanic clash of ideologies between the "protectionist" model of wildlife conservation promoted by the animal welfare lobby of European and north American NGOs, and the more homegrown "utilisation" model adopted widely throughout southern Africa. Once again the data are clear: in contrast to most of Africa, in southern Africa wildlife populations are in general flourishing and increasing.
Kenya and South Africa offer the most striking contrasts in wildlife conservation policy. In the early 70's both countries had roughly the same number of wildlife, some 1.5 million head. 45 years later, Kenya who had adopted the "protectionist" model of conservation had lost 80% of her wildlife. In contrast, in South Africa where the "utilisation" model was adopted, wildlife numbers -- especially of highly endangered iconic species -- had increased by more than 20 times.

This book presents a litany of lost opportunities. The authors had it in their grasp, in their gift, to direct much needed attention towards complex and awkward problems, problems that have undoubtedly lain too long in comfortable obscurity and which would have benefitted from objective, critical analysis especially by such highly regarded Kenyan experts. And for this I will give them grudging respect. But they have been irresponsible in allowing themselves to be so blinded by their trivial prejudices that they have missed the opportunity either to open up any meaningful discussion or to put forward any significant alternatives.

Mike Norton-Griffiths DPhil

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Bugs I never said that I agreed with everything that John Mbaria and Mordecai said in their book. In fact I think that they are both quite guilty of hyperbole. I certainly don't agree with them about Laikipia nor do all the Kenyans I know, because even after living here for over four and a half years I've never met a single Kenyan who wants big game hunting to return to Kenya.

In fact every Kenyan I've ever met feels that there's little difference between big game hunting and poaching. The biggest loss in wildlife happened before hunting was banned in Kenya and not after it. Interestingly enough various NGOs wanted to bring back big game hunting back to Kenya,but then President Kibaki refused. The point is that Kenyans do not want big game haunting back in their country. Colin Francombe the co -owner of Ol Malo Ranch admitted that he hunted many elephants in the 1960s when licenses were cheap and now he deeply regrets it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Bugs I never said that I agreed with everything that John Mbaria and Mordecai said in their book. In fact I think that they are both quite guilty of hyperbole. I certainly don't agree with them about Laikipia nor do all the Kenyans I know, because even after living here for over four and a half years I've never met a single Kenyan who wants big game hunting to return to Kenya.

In fact every Kenyan I've ever met feels that there's little difference between big game hunting and poaching. The biggest loss in wildlife happened before hunting was banned in Kenya and not after it.

 

WOW - Perhaps that is for another thread, but seeing as you said it - I am afraid I simply have to respond in the interests of logic.. You clearly haven't met the Kenyans on the coal face. In the following few links provided I will show you a number of examples that indicate you are clearly not in tune with what rural Kenyans think.

 

Please watch the following interview with Laikipia manager of Sosian Ranch - the one where Tristan Voorspuy was shot and the ranch burned down.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Q2N1ubzHg

 

Now watch an interview with David Hopcraft owner of Swara conservancy

 

https://vimeo.com/135227624

 

Now watch the interview with Michael Norton Griffiths

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjUrzB2xxIA&t=1s

 

If you still remain unconvinced see Calvin Cottars comments here

 

And of course there is the research paper by Kenyan, Joseph Ogutu attached that explains the cataclysmic decline in Kenya since the hunting ban

 

Lets agree, that its unlikely, if not impossible that hunting will be entertained in Kenya again, and alternatives are still inadequate and new innovations ned to be explored. I have no interest in advocating hunting in Kenya again, apart from learning from their mistake. Lets also agree that opinions of urban people of Kenya differ considerably from those of the rural people who have to live in the coal face.

 

Kenya has had more wildlife funding through donors than any other African country, yet the results have been a cataclysmic decline, and in South Africa, we get very little donations, yet we have achieved a phenomenal wildlife recovery over the same period.. This is down to ownership of both land and wildlife, which produces incentives for people to tolerate or embrace wildlife conservation, as opposed to alternative land uses. The closer Kenya can get to devolved ownership the better, but the limits still remain, as they will be deprived accessing the full value of wildlife without being able to utilise that wildlife as profitably as possible.

 

Your bias against hunting may be understood, but you need to make an effort to be more open-minded to logic from other experienced conservationists. You need to understand that your stance against hunting is ideologically based, and when dealing with conservation issues we need to apply pragmatic philosophies. There is no one-size-fits all solution, and Kenya have chosen to deny the option of trophy hunting in their conservation policy, and are paying the price, but there is no logic to further expand on this failure to include wildlife policies in other African countries.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact is that according to the IUCN the numbers of elephants has grown since 2012. While everyone will agree that elephants and other wildlife are a threat to the crops and livestock and do kill people. I've never met one Kenyan who wants big game back even in rural areas. Big game hunters love to state that Namibia is the perfect conservation success story yet there is now without a doubt a serious poaching problem there.

https://southernafrican.news/2017/01/17/namibias-poaching-crisis/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

After reading the links which you posted, I'm only more convinced that Kenyans don't want big game hunting back in their country. The fact is that when there was big game hunting in Kenya the Kenyan people gained almost nothing from it. All the money was pocketed by corrupt government officials and the hunting operators. I'm not denying that big game ranching might have been a success in Kenya like in South Africa,but unfortunately this has led to canned lion hunting. If Mr Cottar is so dissatisfied with the fact that Kenya no longer allows big game hunting then why didn't he simply move his operation elsewhere where he could continue to pursue big game hunting? What also has to be considered is that there was massive elephant poaching before the hunting ban which caused a massive decline in elephant numbers.

 

The WWF is notorious not only for not spending very much on it's conservation projects,but the fact that members of it's board continued to hunt endangered species.

Is this truly an organization dedicated to wildlife conservation? Furthermore, I don't care who advocates legal traffic in rhino horn it doesn't seem to be doing anything to stop poaching at the moment.

http://m.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/News/nine-rhinos-found-massacred-at-hluhluwe-imfolozi-park-20170513

In fact if anything it seems to have exacerbated what was a horrible situation.

 

I know very well that no matter their personal views of the founders, may be African Parks simply does not have any big game hunting to occur in any of the areas where it goes into. There must be a solid reason for it.

Edited by optig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know very well that no matter their personal views of the founders, may be African Parks simply does not have any big game hunting to occur in any of the areas where it goes into. There must be a solid reason for it.

 

@@optig

 

This is incorrect.

 

Hunting plays quite an important role in Bangweulu as far as I know.

 

I also believe hunting will be re-instated in Chinko if and when conditions will allow.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Paolo I'm only repeating what Rod Cassidy of Sangha Lodge told me when we met in Nairobi. You are correct that African parks does allow hunting of black lechwe in Bangweulu. Thank you for correcting me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I know very well that no matter their personal views of the founders, may be African Parks simply does not have any big game hunting to occur in any of the areas where it goes into. There must be a solid reason for it.

 

@@optig

 

This is incorrect.

 

Hunting plays quite an important role in Bangweulu as far as I know.

 

I also believe hunting will be re-instated in Chinko if and when conditions will allow.

 

 

Yes, I can confirm that they do use hunting in Bangweulu. I will post an interview I did with the person who manages the reserve on behalf of African Parks in due course.

 

Anyway - we have drifted off topic on this thread..

 

Its not only black lechwe, but buffalo and Sitatunga as well as a few other species..

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@@optig - despite your intense dislike of hunters, they DO have a place in conservation, on NGO Boards of Directors, etc. Just because someone hunts certain creatures does not disqualify them from making significant conservation contributions. And NGO Boards of Directors NEED diverse members - and this diversity in some cases includes hunters.

 

Some of the finest and most successful conservationists I have known or studied have also been hunters. Just a few examples: U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Jim Corbett, Frederick Selous,Tom Yawkey, Belle Baruch, Gaylord Donnelley, Archibald Rutledge, Philip Rhodes, the list goes on and on.

 

While John Muir was not a hunter, he did grasp the "hunter-conservationist paradox" (not everyone does) and worked with hunter T.R. Roosevelt to protect large swathes of North America. If he had a puritanical anti-hunting outlook, he might have foolishly written off President Roosevelt and missed major conservation opportunities.

 

Without hunters, North America today would have little or no ducks, elk, Wild Turkeys, Pronghorn Antelope, etc. etc. That is a fact. And hunter-centric organizations like Ducks Unlimited internationally conserve countless shorebirds, rails, shrews, frogs, butterflies and many other non-game species in the course of their work.

 

And not all hunters are the same - despite some people painting them so. There is a big difference between killing rare/endangered creatures for trophies and sustainable harvesting of common creatures for the pot.

 

In closing, I must comment on your demonstrated tendency towards hyperbole and loose facts. If you are not careful, they could get you sued for libel some day.

Edited by offshorebirder
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@offshorebirder I never denied that hunters have had an important role in conservation, but I'm merely stating that I find it hypocritical that so called "conservationists" are hunting endangered species. My own experience on Facebook hasn't exactly been encouraging because I've encountered professional hunters who want to overturn CITES and not only bring back ivory trading but culling. I think this flies in the face of all logic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@offshorebirder I never denied that hunters have had an important role in conservation, but I'm merely stating that I find it hypocritical that so called "conservationists" are hunting endangered species. My own experience on Facebook hasn't exactly been encouraging because I've encountered professional hunters who want to overturn CITES and not only bring back ivory trading but culling. I think this flies in the face of all logic.

 

If you feel like this then start your own thread and stop hijacking every other thread with your biased rhetoric. Better still - dig up one of the many old threads and see if there is something that hasn't already been said.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://oxpeckers.org/2016/08/2991/

 

This is something which I don't think is biased rhetoric it is that Namibia's brilliant community based hunting model is in fact a front for rhino poaching. I don't see the big game hunters doing anything to stop this or police hunters who engage in unethical or illegal tactics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are clearly well off topic here @@optig

 

This thread is about offering information to Rwenzori about books to read, not to debate the issues of hunting/ non hunting culling/non culling.

 

As @@Bugs has pointed out there are many other threads on these issues where these comments/debates would be better placed. There are several that I, and others can think of can think of so perhaps you could look those out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Rwenzori I think you would find the following interesting reads:-

 

An Impossible Dream by Stan Bleazard & Ian Parker

 

Banagi Hill by John Blower

 

Shamba Raiders by Bruce Kinloch

 

See my reviews at http://safaritalk.net/topic/13950-some-favourite-african-books/ for further details.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.