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thetexaskid

buffalo hunting in mozambique?

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Another great divide between the two factions, hunter & conservationist!

 

Hardly, nappa...it's the same old divide which has existed for donkey's years.

 

There's a variety of views on Safaritalk about the value of trophy hunting as a conservation tool. Personally, I see it as perhaps a necessary evil, though I don't think it's likely to be a long-term solution. To me it's a 'sport' that's beyond contempt, but it exists and I probably have to accept that; at the same time, I'm happy to have reasoned debate about it with just about anybody here.

 

Not with most trophy hunters, though. It would be a waste of time (like your PM to our 'friend', Ross). I can't change their views and they can't change mine. When I see photographs of them posing over their victims, their smiles are not showing pleasure about any contribution their fees have made to conservation; rather, they're displaying pride in their 'superiority', their 'valour', their 'cleverness' at ending a magnificent life.

 

The 'texas skidmark' was probably trolling. If he was, well, that reveals his attitude to us and our forum from the start. It's not our reaction which creates that imaginary 'new' great divide. If he was making a genuine inquiry, he's a fool for not going to a hunting forum. They're not hard to find. Either way, he revealed his mentality for all of us to see.

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If you search “Africa safari hunting forum” Safaritalk comes in the top few search results.

 

I thought we were mature enough in our views to understand that hunting is practiced and is legal and sustainable and contributes to conservation. Here we have a gentleman who is interested in touring Africa on a hunting safari and willing to spend good money in the country and you unceremoniously dismiss him as if he were an enemy and a reprehensible person.

 

A hunter will spend around 14000USD on a five day buffalo hunt. This provides employment for guides, skinners trackers, chefs, cooks, taxidermists, profession hunters and outfitters, travel agents, etc, etc. The result is an area protected form poachers were where wild animals can flourish.

 

Top of our list of things to see on Safari is a kill. Should you witness a lion kill a buffalo you would be in your element, problem is who paid for the buffalo? Also the buffalo suffers far longer. More often than not it will be a young buffalo that has not spread its genes yet. So who are we to judge this man?

 

I thought Safaritalk was an open minded forum willing to entertain any opinion that may contribute to conservation and the success of the wildlife industry in South Africa.

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I thought Safaritalk was an open minded forum willing to entertain any opinion that may contribute to conservation and the success of the wildlife industry in South Africa.

After reading this topic I doubt that. And the personal insulting level of some statements here really pisses me off.

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There are definitely hunters who care. It may be hard for us non-hunters to accept that people can hunt and still care about wildlife, but in some way many hunters do.

 

I never said there weren't any. And I do accept that people like that exist. But I don't agree with the "many" in your last sentence.

 

I know I keep repeating myself, but if there is one thing here that I don't understand, then it's the fact that whenever a discussion like this comes along, the conservation-minded people themselves always seem insist on defending "the good hunters". Always the same arguments too; the money generated, the people employed, etc... In an ideal world, and in some places and cases it may be the truth. But come on now... TIA!

 

Why am I almost burned at the stakes every time I try to point out that not everything goes as it should go?

 

And why don't we let the hunters defend themselves anyway? They never seem to. Maybe because they don't feel the need to do so. We do it for them anyway. It's becoming a bit silly actually. I start doubting the reason for some people's presence here. Hidden agendas?

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And the personal insulting level of some statements here really pisses me off.

 

I am truly sorry if I hurted your feelings, Nyama. But I'm not the kind of person who turns the other cheek when an obvious troll calls people like us (and especially Russell and Tanya who made very to-the-point replies) ignorant of the whole hunting situation in Africa.

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I never said there weren't any. And I do accept that people like that exist. But I don't agree with the "many" in your last sentence.

 

I know I keep repeating myself, but if there is one thing here that I don't understand, then it's the fact that whenever a discussion like this comes along, the conservation-minded people themselves always seem insist on defending "the good hunters". Always the same arguments too; the money generated, the people employed, etc... In an ideal world, and in some places and cases it may be the truth. But come on now... TIA!

 

Why am I almost burned at the stakes every time I try to point out that not everything goes as it should go?

 

And why don't we let the hunters defend themselves anyway? They never seem to. Maybe because they don't feel the need to do so. We do it for them anyway. It's becoming a bit silly actually. I start doubting the reason for some people's presence here. Hidden agendas?

 

I think the problem is that hunters arent going to come here and give a reasoned justification if they are likely to be met with insults, so we'll just get the trolls instead.

 

I agree things dont go as they should in many cases. Thats a major problem in Africa (and elsewhere) that affects not just hunting, but all sorts of things.

 

While I'm not a fan of hunting, I accept it can in the right circumstances be beneficial. The question is though, what are the right circumstances and when should hunting not be accepted. Sometimes I have posted as a devils advocate to try and get issues discussed that would otherwise not be raised, or to provide a balanced view.

 

I'd suggest that when it comes to hunting there are several key areas that need to be looked at...

 

Sustainability - must ensure that it doesnt impact on the long term survival of the species

Corruption - will the rules be properly enforced and moneys go to the right place

Proper rules - there need to be rules in place, e.g. no canned hunting

 

I'd like to see the pro-hunting lobby taking more of a stance against the worst aspects of hunting - e.g. actively campaigning against canned hunting and blacklisting operators that dont comply with codes of conduct.

 

Hunting is a hugely controversial subject and people on both sides understandably have very strong feelings, but its only if both sides listen to some of the viewpoints of the other side that we'll ever see any progress.

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The problem with hunting is that it highly corrupt and not well managed outisde private fenced reserves. It would cost millions to get a true census of population in GMA or WMA next to national parks where hunting can take place. Instead, as what appears to happen in Zambia, where hunting licenses have been known to be used as political favours, they use the following quota method;

 

You lick your index finger, stick it the wind and have a guess.

 

Concerning hunting companies, there is a difference in the behaviour depending on the type of operation they run. If next to a national park or Govnt leased area, there more incentive to overshoot and over utlize as you have not paid for the animals and are just reaping profits. If you shoot an additional Lion, there is the possibility you can bait one across the river or one will move into the area from the park to fill the vacuum. If you have your own hunting farm, you will ensure to run at a sustainable level as you know that any supplementation of wildlife will have to be paid for.

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If you search "Africa safari hunting forum" Safaritalk comes in the top few search results.

 

And it looks like a hunting forum? Not much intelligence is required to tell the difference.

 

I thought we were mature enough in our views to understand that hunting is practised and is legal and sustainable and contributes to conservation.

 

And I thought I said as much, except that I questioned its long-term value, indicated that I detest it (trophy hunting) and don't believe most of its participants are thinking conservation when they're killing.

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And the personal insulting level of some statements here really pisses me off.

 

I apologise too if I offended you nyama. But I believe our 'friend' made himself fair game, just as he expects a buffalo to be his fair game when it walks into his sights. Difference is, the buffalo won't be able to defend itself.

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The problem with hunting is that it highly corrupt and not well managed outisde private fenced reserves. It would cost millions to get a true census of population in GMA or WMA next to national parks where hunting can take place. Instead, as what appears to happen in Zambia, where hunting licenses have been known to be used as political favours, they use the following quota method;

You lick your index finger, stick it the wind and have a guess.

 

I think the huge amounts of money involved in hunting are a magnet to corrupt officials, in the same way large government contracts are - basically where you have a government that doesnt clamp down on corruption then the larger the amounts of money the more corruption you get.

 

The quota aspect is one of the more concerning aspects of hunting to me. Without proper studies of the wildlife population then you cant set a quota with any confidence that it will be sustainable. I'd like to see countries that allow hunting publishing the population estimates and supporting research that they use when setting a quota. That would make it obvious whether the quotas are meaningful or are just guesswork. It also makes it harder for corrupt officials to set high unsustainable targets if they know the published facts will contradict their claims.

 

 

Concerning hunting companies, there is a difference in the behaviour depending on the type of operation they run. If next to a national park or Govnt leased area, there more incentive to overshoot and over utlize as you have not paid for the animals and are just reaping profits. If you shoot an additional Lion, there is the possibility you can bait one across the river or one will move into the area from the park to fill the vacuum. If you have your own hunting farm, you will ensure to run at a sustainable level as you know that any supplementation of wildlife will have to be paid for.

 

I think you're definitely right about the game farms being run on a sustainable basis - if someone ran his farm without making sure it was sustainable then they'd soon be out of business as buying in more wildlife is expensive.

Regarding hunting in leased areas, yes I'm sure that sort of thing goes on in some places, but dont forget that to get the license to hunt there the company has paid a huge fee so they're recouping costs not just making profit. As there are fees for every animal shot then over-shooting will result in larger fees to be paid so that may not be as profitable as you suggest. Its also likely that a dodgy operator would cross the boundary and make a kill just across the line into the national park if they thought they could get away with it.

This is why I say its important to make sure the rules are monitored - if they are carefully monitored then hunters are more likely to stick to the rules or risk losing their livelihood. If the rules are enforced and the penalty for breaches of the rules is to lose the license or hunting concession then most professionals would think twice as a rule breach could bankrupt them. The problem is that not all countries monitor and enforce the rules to the degree necessary.

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yeah i guess by some i'm a dummy because i did a search and when i saw safari it was the term i grew up knowing. i was asking a legit question in the wrong place. okay.

 

first there are good reps for your cause like nappa and predator and just the opposite in milbank and jochen,

 

Eugene Lapointe (head of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) from 82-90 and current pres of International Wildlife Magangement Concortium (IWMC) has a few quotes "unfortunatley, most african economies are poor and wildlife conservation has to compete with so many pressing demands for public money. so conservation projects are going to be most successful if they can be self-supporting; in other words, if they can generate income and provide local jobs. a number of nations in southern africa had adopted a "sustainable use" philosophy, including nambia, south africa and botswana. they have issued permits to sport hunters to shoot a limited number of elephants that are pre-selected according to factors like age and sex. as a result, these nations has well-stocked and healthy populations and poaching was not a major problem"

 

Peter Lindsey from the univ of zimbabwe (who is not a hunter) has some quotes:

"realistically, for conservation to succeed, wildlife has to pay for itself in africa"

"if local people do not benifit, it is usually lost"

"there's on question in my mind if hunting were to be banned, the conservation consequences in africa would be dire"

 

on www.africanwildlifeconservationfund.org lindsey says that 18,500 hunters/companions come to africa each year spending over 200 million. bringing in money that goes to local owners to buy more land for the animals that does not appeal to ecotourists because the area is not politically stable, too remote, or simpily less scenic. as long as land owners have finacial income from the animals they will continue to improve the land

 

hunters on avg spend 10-20 times more than ecotourists, and hunting operations cover more than 540, 000 sq miles, thats 22% more land than is protected by national parks.

 

*look, i'm deep into the hunting community and almost every one i know follows the rules and respects the game. there are scumbags out there that abuse it and it sucks (shooting 18 deer in a county where you are only allowed 1, shooting animals on your wife or childrens tags) but we arent hunters like the "hunters" that slaughtered the american bison or white rhino years ago

 

you wont change us and we wont change you, we just have to agree to disagree

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*look, i'm deep into the hunting community and almost every one i know follows the rules and respects the game. there are scumbags out there that abuse it and it sucks (shooting 18 deer in a county where you are only allowed 1, shooting animals on your wife or childrens tags) but we arent hunters like the "hunters" that slaughtered the american bison or white rhino years ago

 

you wont change us and we wont change you, we just have to agree to disagree

 

I think the lack of reasoned discussion between pro and anti hunting lobbies doesnt help - it makes both sides more determined.

 

I think hunters can be divided into two fairly distinct groups - the ones who are reposnsible and follow the rules, and the ones that just care about getting the trophy and will break any rules to get it. I dont know what percentage of hunters fall into which category though.

 

Thetexaskid, I'd be interested to hear your views on canned hunts (where lions are habituated to people so dont run off, or are captive animals released in time for the "hunter" to kill it).

The pro-hunting groups dont tend to discuss the issue which I think is actually counter productive - if they were to campaign against canned hunts then it would not only get this practice banned a lot quicker, but would also show that pro-hunting groups can work positively to get rid of some of the worst practices in hunting. OK it wouldnt make everyone like hunters overnight, but if would help reduce the level of animosity.

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you wont change us and we wont change you, we just have to agree to disagree

 

Well said texaskid and thank you for your comments!!

 

Guys, thetexaskid has stirred the pot and maybe it was a good thing for he got us going but at the same time he also gave us all something to think about. He has his reasons for doing what he is doing and I respect him for being honest.

 

Ross

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I have my own views on hunting and whilst I do not mind it occurring on managed reserves, not canned hunting, I do think that it is a waste of a nations natural resources and future, when done adjacent to national parks. I am willing to agree, that southern Africa has an elephant population that can sustain trophy hunting. Unfortunately, as I have already alluded to, I know a number of cases in Botswana where there have clear breaking of hunting rules. Even last year, I know that in certain areas, people have seen hunters shooting from vehicles. Hardly ethical or a far chase.

In Zimbabwe, a country you mention, hunting companies outside Hwange National were selling pygmy lions. They were shooting young males because they had overshot the existing trophy pool. Now, this is neither good for the hunter, who wants to be rewarded with the large trophy, or the photographic tourist, who sees lion dynamics destroyed. I think that one policy that should be changed is the way that safaris are paid for. In the Mana pools area, you purchase your bag before entering the area. So, imagine the problems when Mr X has paid $100,000 to shoot a lion and told that the ones available are not suitable. It places the PH in a very difficult position.

 

Contrast this to other areas, where you may go on a lion hunt, though will only pay the massive trophy few if you are successful. This allows to the PH to be in a stronger position to say no to the client, who having not spent the money, flown half way around the world, will be more understanding.

 

 

hunters on avg spend 10-20 times more than ecotourists, and hunting operations cover more than 540, 000 sq miles, thats 22% more land than is protected by national parks.

 

In terms of hunters bringing in more revenue than photographic, this has clearly been disproven by comparing two concessions of the Okavango. I do agree that a single hunter brings in more revenue than a single eco-tourist. Though this figure misrepresents that a photographic business generates more direct and indirect income.

 

Whilst you are correct in stating that hunting areas cover more land, I would probably think that these figures a somewhat misrepresented. Many of these hunting concessions adjoining national parks have been converting to photographic tourism because of the greater revenues that the lodge produces. They are still regarded as a hunting area becasue they are mutliuse, and hunting could take place there again. So, whilst many of these areas could function as hunting concessions, they do not. The Okavango Delta is a classic example of this trend. Concessions are not being turned from photographic into hunting, but vice versa, which would diminish the claim that hunters produce an overall higher revenue. This situation of more land for hunting is a result of past attitudes towards conservation, hunting and revenue generating. Photo-tourism is still a young industry in southern africa by comaprison. I would also add to this, that stand alone fenced hunting reserves, do cover a lot areas in southern Africa. These small reserves generate more profit because they are sub par for game viewing and the initial capital outlay is less for the hunting company.

 

What conservation purpose do they serve, it is hard to calculate. Yes, they do contain and conserve animals. But they are not part of large eco system that promotes genetic diversity and supports migratory movements. Thats why I have less of an issue of people generating income in this manor. So what percentage of km2 make up this category?

 

Peter Lindsey from the univ of zimbabwe (who is not a hunter) has some quotes:

"realistically, for conservation to succeed, wildlife has to pay for itself in africa"

"if local people do not benifit, it is usually lost"

"there's on question in my mind if hunting were to be banned, the conservation consequences in africa would be dire"

 

To a degree I agree with this assessment, because too many photographic operations are run by individuals,retaining the profits. Whereas in many CHA - controlled hunting areas, bordering national parks, people gain some revenue from trophy fees. National park and concession rents are sent to central government normally. The changes that need to take place are rather than wealthy individuals own photographic camps and just employ people, there has to be a joint ownership with the local community. This way the animals have the same economic value as if hunted.

 

lindsey says that 18,500 hunters/companions come to africa each year spending over 200 million. bringing in money that goes to local owners to buy more land for the animals that does not appeal to eco tourists because the area is not politically stable, too remote, or simpily less scenic. as long as land owners have financial income from the animals they will continue to improve the land

 

At this point you have to be careful about what type of land you are referring to. When you are referring to purchasing more land, this will probably be in regards to a private hunting farm, not a leased national concession, which is a set area for wildlife. As i have already mentioned, because these areas are not supplemented by national parks animals, they are well managed. I think that most people accept hunting in on private farms, but draw the line when it has major impacts on national parks and phototourist areas. People who operate in CHA near national parks lease them from the government, and they do not manage the land as you mention. Though I would be interested to know who actually benefits, as it would be individuals in this circumstance getting financial gain, not the local communities. Only a campfire project would help them, which occurs in low class hunting areas in rural locations adjacent to hunting concessions.

 

I accept the political instability in certain countries can make hunting a good industry. Though you would be amazed at the lengths people are willing to travel to these remote areas that you speak of. In fact, I think you would find that most people on this board are looking for that authentic hunting type safari. Except replacing the rifle with a zoom lens of some description. We get the same thrill of the chase that any hunter does. Which is why I appreciate some people enjoy it. Though we just treat the quarry differently.

 

I would agree that certain areas that hunters occupy would not be suitable for photographic safaris. However, this does not mean that I support the hunting of animals in areas adjacent to national parks that can severely affect the dynamics of the area.

 

In terms of the number of people visiting, I think that it would be interesting to see what the break down of numbers actually are in terms of the type of hunt. I have a feeling that the majority of the hunters that visit, do so on private fenced reserves which has no effect on the hunting debate regarding changing dynamics of national parks. Why, because it is a lot cheaper option than the wilds of Botswana. I too would be interested to see how many of them participate in Canned hunting. This diminishes the strength of a lot of the figures quoted. Because trophy fees end up in the hands of private land owners, rather than Govenment and local people, with no concession payments either.

 

*look, i'm deep into the hunting community and almost every one i know follows the rules and respects the game. there are scumbags out there that abuse it and it sucks (shooting 18 deer in a county where you are only allowed 1, shooting animals on your wife or childrens tags) but we arent hunters like the "hunters" that slaughtered the american bison or white rhino years ago

 

This may be the case in the states when shooting deer, but going for the big five in Africa has a different, sometimes romanticised aspect to it. They are many people who come to shoot a lion that have never hunted before. In Africa is easier to get away with being a scumbag, and when the returns are as great as they are, there is more incentive to make your quick buck at the expense of a few rules.

 

I respect and appreciate you love affair with hunting. As someone who has recently left the British military, I do enjoy rifle work. If you go to a hunting farm (not canned), shoot a zebra on sustainable basis, I have no issues. I draw the line when animals are lured illegally across national park boundaries, which i have seen with Lions, to the detriment of the ecology of an area enjoyed as a photographic arena by the majority.

 

The problem with internet and debates like these, is they will have their own own circle of life. A never ending debate!

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As a matter of interest I source most of my information from hunting magazines. If you bothered to pick up a hunting magazine you will be surprised what you see.

 

Yes, you will see a few pics with hunters and what they have hunted. I don’t see the difference between that and a guy posing with a fish he just caught. Besides you are quick to take photos of lions tearing into a dead animal. Double standards.

 

But what you don’t see is the five page informative article on Black rhino conservation. There are 36 game auctions set for this year for the sale of live animals. These auctions see huge turnovers and promote gene rotation. The fact that there is such a good market is hugely positive. Prices have been on the climb for a few years. Disease free buffalo are fetching huge prices and a cow in calf will go for R200 000 or more. Hunting brings in nearly R5billion to South Africa each year, 9000 private game farms have sprung up. More than 40% of all game is privately owned.

 

Sustainable utilization is what is going to preserve our natural areas and wildlife. I was told that Kenya has “lost” up to 70% of its wildlife since they banned trophy hunting. I can tell you for sure, if they ban hunting in South Africa the entire wildlife infrastructure will collapse. Only the wealthy will afford to see wildlife in the protected areas and many more Zoos will pop up.

 

We like to hunt with cameras, but we would not have that privilege if it were not for the hunting industry propping the conservation network up and stopping poaching. And who says that hunters are not conservationists?

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Dik Dik,

 

I feel that alot of the hunting debate does not revolve around the 40% of privately owned animals. I also believe that SA is a very different model to the the remote, wild areas of Botswana and Zambia. It is in these countries, where fences are minimal, the effects and attitudes towards trophy hunting are certainly different.

 

As for Kenya, I feel that the problem that has emerged there, is that areas that once gained revenue from trophy hunting, probably have lodges owned by large chains. Whilst employing, their is no empowerment through ownership or economic benefit. Though the massive population explosion should not be underestimated. 15m in under 15 years puts wildlife under pressure. Though small hunting farms would enable small pockets to be conserved if managed well.

 

As for fishing, a lot of that is done on a catch and release basis. I don't know how you can call it double standards to watch a lion kill an antelope though. That is completely natural and the animals involved have evolved so that their is an element of fair chance involved. If the hunter had chased the lion and killed it with his bare hands, then hats off. Though when they use baits to lure the animals and use a weapon that is outside of the lions evolutionary development, you can not claim double standards. It is not really a fair fight.

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Russell,

 

I think you've said just about everything I'd want to say. I just have a deeper opposition to the sport killing of wildlife (including big game fishing). It's funny how attitudes change over the years. I used to have a strange pride in the fact that a South Australian fisherman frequently captured the world record for great white shark with rod and line...and may indeed still hold that record for all I know. He caught and killed some huge beasts (in excess of two tons, I think, but correct me if I'm wrong). But such activities are now illegal, and I've been alive long enough to have developed a hearty dislike of them anyway...whether or not the species is endangered.

 

I'm pleased 'the texaskid' came back to the party to defend himself. It seems he may not have been trolling after all. I had noticed he was lurking. I'm also pleased that he lumped me together with jochen. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being totally opposed to something and expressing one's views strongly. The only risk is that one may be regarded as a 'weirdo'. But that's all right...I'm fair game, just like 'texaskid', and I don't mind the heat of the kitchen.

 

(edit) I made a mistake with the great white records, probably confusing pounds with kilograms. The fisherman back in the 50s caught four in excess of one ton, the biggest weighing more than 2,600 pounds. Nowadays, such catches must be released alive.

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I'm late jumping into the discussion as i wasn't around yesterday - Texaskid, talks about most hunting areas being of no use to photo safaris. That's not true at all - there are quite a few areas that are just as scenic and picturesque and if animals are allowed to thrive - you will have plenty of great photo ops.

 

Somewhere earlier in the thread, Jochen talked about exotic birds as pets and that for every one that survives, 50 die - Wow!!! ....... i personally know of a exotic bird dealer here in India who has every kind of parrot, parakeet also from memory Emu and Ostritch. Every time i asked him where he got them - the reply would be vague or that he breeds them. What should i do to help? I know of this, as i have seen the birds that some clients of his have in their home and i have been to see the birds one time ........ Awful! This just means that in many parts of the world the illegal pet trade is completely unnoticed.

 

Sorry, the above has nothing to do with hunting in Africa .........

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Yes, Hari, you have strayed off topic a bit...though there's a pretty wide umbrella covering the exploitation & suffering of wildlife in one form or another.

 

Try BirdLife International http://www.birdlife.org/index.html They may have a partner organisation in India. They've got partners in some African countries.

 

A few years ago, I gave a cockatoo photo to the Haribon Foundation, the Philippines partner of BirdLife, so they could print a poster to try to combat the illegal bird trade in their country. The poster features my wild bird and a photo of an unhealthy-looking caged specimen of the same species.

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Thanks, John ....... Will write to them. But, before that ..... i am going to make a visit to the bird house to see exactly what he has with him in terms of species and specifics. I will try to play detective for a day!

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Aha! now we're cooking!

The issue on hunting has become a discussion.

 

I abhor needless killing, be it hunting or the conservationist guest who squashes a spider! :):angry:

 

And yes the divide has been there a long time but we can work together to reduce it!

We will never agree but let's at least work to where we agree to disagree.

Only then can we work towards the eduction of the "I hunt! I maim! I kill! So what?" mentality...................Together!

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first there are good reps for your cause like nappa and predator and just the opposite in milbank and jochen.

 

On what basis do you judge? All I did - so far in this thread - is refer to posts of Russell and Tanya. And give you the middlefinger for trolling of course, as after all, judging by your first two posts, everyone could only conclude; that is what it seemed you were doing.

 

Your last post is certainly much better. At least we can have a decent discussion now. So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.

 

I've been sleeping (am in EU) and there's plenty of posts after yours that I still need to read (this thread has grown a lot in 12hrs), so I'll be posting my thoughts later, when I've read all "pros & cons".

 

But one thing I already would like to ask you now is this; what goes through your mind when you see that animal die because of your bullet? I mean; you seem to agree these animals are magnificent specimens, right? So why kill it? Where's the joy?

It's not easy to find the right words here. I think what I want to say is this; why not change that gun for a Canon? It's only one "n" less compared to your "cannon" now. Lots of us here shoot animals too you know. But then we put our camera aside and watch the animal walk on, hoping it lives on for quite a while, and/or hoping to see it back one day, with offspring.

Do I sound like a bunny hugger now? Well, I don't mind. But you should know. Statements like...

 

you wont change us and we wont change you, we just have to agree to disagree

 

...I tend to see those as a challenge. :)

 

If I can change my ways, so can you. No?

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As has been mentioned above, there is a big difference between hunting on a South African game farm, and hunting in a wilderness area.

 

On a game farm, the owner has a strong incentive to make sure its done sustainably and is therefore likely to enforce rules, and as a result the visiting hunters will behave responsibly most of the time. I still have mixed feelings on it but can see that if a hunter doesnt pay to visit that game farm, either the animals will be sent to the abbatoir for meat anyway, or the farmer will move away from wildlife and back to cattle.

 

In wilderness type areas, as has been pointed out above, there are more potential issues. These areas are generally unfenced so the animals are part of a larger ecosystem.

 

As I've said already, I'd suggest that when it comes to hunting there are several key areas that need to be looked at...

 

Sustainability - must ensure that it doesnt impact on the long term survival of the species

Corruption - will the rules be properly enforced and moneys go to the right place

Proper rules - there need to be rules in place, e.g. no canned hunting

 

The one I forgot to include was Finances - its important that the money generated is used properly. It ties in with corruption as you need a corruption-free or low corruption area, but how the money is supposed to be used is key - is it going straight to central government funds, or is it shared with the local community for instance.

 

 

Regarding the comment about how fees are paid, If the fees are all paid in advance this can be counter productive. Equally if they are paid at the end problems might occur if the hunter decides to do a runner without paying. Perhaps a better solution would be for them to pay up front for the species they wish to hunt and the money to be held until the end of the hunt at which point they get the money back for anything they didnt shoot - i.e. they only pay for what they shot. That might avoid people shooting some animals because although its not a good trophy they've already paid for it.

 

Yes hunting generates employment, but I believe photo tourism generates more. Typically a hunting camp will only have one or two clients at a time (correct me if I'm wrong), whereas photo tourism camps may have a lot more guests at a time. More people means more staff required to cook and clean up.

 

When it comes to money, that is still huntings trump card. Hunting does generate huge sums. In Namibia on my last trip I heard how much the local hunting concession was going for - it was a staggering amount, and half of that goes to the local community conservancy. To replace that money with photo tourism revenue would require a lot of infrastructure to handle the tens of thousands of tourists they'd need. OK the hunting wouldnt employ as many people as the guest lodges do, but at the moment allowing trophy hunting is still highly profitable for the local community.

Finding ways of replacing the hunting revenue with other sources of income is the biggest challenge for those opposed to hunting - its only if this happens that hunting might end. That is a long term thing, so in the short term isnt it better for anti-hunting people to work with the "enemy" (i.e. the hunting community) to try and tackle the problems that exist, e.g. get rid of canned hunting and work to make sure population counts are done and that quotas are set at sustainable levels.

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On your points Predator

 

Sustainability; with the movement of wildlife across boundaries and wildlife populations being gauged on estimates, I think it is difficult to get the required qoutas in wilderness/national park areas for sustainability. Hwange has found this out to their detriment with regard to Lions. Some males had such large home ranges they were being double counted. Creating a situation where there were more lions on quota than there were in the park.

 

Corruption This is africa, so little chance of it not occuring. Even in photograpic community areas, trustees are found guilty of embezelment, the area for Baines in Botswana is a perfect example.

 

Proper Rules As photographic operators break rules, then hunters will to. These hunts are regulated, though when a ZAWA scout is tipped three months salary to look the other way, $500, it is a losing battle. That is a small amount of money compared to the wealth of inidivials on hunting safaris.

 

When it comes to money, that is still huntings trump card. Hunting does generate huge sums. In Namibia on my last trip I heard how much the local hunting concession was going for - it was a staggering amount, and half of that goes to the local community conservancy. To replace that money with photo tourism revenue would require a lot of infrastructure to handle the tens of thousands of tourists they'd need

 

I would have to disagree in this instance. The basis of the comparison was with a concession in the Okavango, based on a 50% occupancy. If you target high cost, low impact tourism(botswana model), then revenues will be generated very quickly, not require the thousands of visitors you suggest and the massive infrastructure. Semi, permenant yet plsu accommodations, no need for tar raods. Dirt tracks and offroading. You clientele fly-in, and want wilderness, not the large infrastructure you see in Etosha. In some cases, for camps like Mombo, then the capital outlay will be large, at least $2 million. Though the returns are huge, something a hunter could only dream of.

 

Mombo Example There are 12 tents between the Big and Little Camps.

 

Rates: $1500+ per person per night, this equates to around $36000 per night if running at full capacity. Occupancy is at least 90%, and to stay, it is common to have to book at least a year out. Even at 80% occupancy, the yearly revenue generated is $10,500,000 - though around 20% in agents fees would probably be subtracted.

 

Remember, the Mombo concession is split into two, with Chiefs camp occupying the southern sector. They too have 24 beds charging just slightly less than Mombo camp. No hunting company could match this level of income and stay within sustainabel quotas.

 

Even concessions with the more rustic accommodation charge in the region of $600-1000 per person per night. These camps do not have the same massive capital outlay. There are two markets in this industry, those who go Etosha and Kruger, and those who are willing to pay a premium to spend time in a true private wilderness. Where you can offroad, walk and not be disturbed by a mass of tourists charging round in their vehicles near you. You may need to build an airstrip, though all the roads are dirt tracks and clients fly in. So whilst somewhere like Mombo is the high end Lux, people are still willing to spend hundreds of dollars per night to stay in your rustic, thatched hunters cottages. Although Botswana is more a tented experience, just check out the rates for some of the huts on the Busanga plains in Kafue? In both cases, the costs are more limited becasue the massive lodges you see constructed in East Africa, SA and some other parts are not being contructed.

 

These private photographic concessions whilst being more expensive to lease than a camp that utlilizes a national park, are supplying a market that is in high demand. Which justifies the massive price tags they are forced to pay to get these areas. As these hunting concession are coming up for sale, their underlying value based on photographic toursims potential returns, has pushed the prices to a point where the returns from a quota do not always justify the price. Though this does depend on the how 'prime' an area is. Namibia, is not as game rich as Botswana, attracts people looking for a unique wilderness experience. Look at private camps like Wilderness' Damaraland camps.

 

Through operating on this basis, people are going to Southern instead of East Africa. Will it reach saturation point? I don't think it will. We are talking of such small, priveledged number of people, that baring another 9/11, will nearly always have a market even if it expands.

 

In terms of capital outlay, I understand for the smaller game farm operator the cost benefits of hunting. People are attracted to to the wide wilderness areas that they see on documentaries. Which is why they cannot generate the same revenues as those in concessions bordering national reserve and places of interest.

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