Moos’ Blog

Bio­di­ver­sity Counts!
Obser­va­tions and opin­ions con­cern­ing zoos, evo­lu­tion, nature con­ser­va­tion and the way we treat/​support the ecosys­tems which are sup­posed to serve us.


No way that tro­phy hunt­ing can pre­vent species’ extinc­tion in a sus­tain­able manner

pub­lished 17 Jan­u­ary 2018 | mod­i­fied 17 Jan­u­ary 2018

The con­ser­va­tion through hunt­ing model has led to many, some­times heated, debates. Per­son­ally, I can­not under­stand why a per­son should kill an ani­mal when the ani­mal isn’t an imme­di­ate threat to that per­son or isn’t an indis­pens­able part of that person’s diet. But when the con­ser­va­tion value is proven I am pre­pared to adopt the model in my thoughts.

When you search the inter­net you can find many arti­cles that address the model and the accom­pa­ny­ing debate, but some inter­est­ing thoughts I came across in a recently pub­lished arti­cle enti­tled ‘Big game hunters: We’re the answer to pre­vent­ing extinc­tion’ made me aware of how twisted some of the rea­son­ing is. There­fore, I com­ment on a few of those that stood out to me.

Leopard trophy hunting priceThe price on the head of a tro­phy hunted leop­ard.
Source: CNN

“It’s about a value on wildlife, and the proof that it works is the fact that we are sit­ting here in this build­ing [of the annual Dal­las Safari Club Con­ven­tion & Sport­ing Expo], and all these peo­ple are mar­ket­ing and sup­port­ing wildlife, and so there is a value on it beyond its value of meat,” accord­ing a big game hunter.
Well, this means that if you are able to bring together a lot of peo­ple, no mat­ter what their inten­tion or how sick their mind is, that sup­port your goal — your goal is good and to be respected. I believe this is not the way democ­racy works.

“We have taken a con­scious deci­sion to sus­tain­ably har­vest some of the older wildlife, some of the post mature bulls that are basi­cally fight­ing with the young ones, some­times killing the young ones or females,” said the deputy direc­tor of Wildlife and National Parks with Namibia’s Min­istry of Envi­ron­ment and Tourism.
This is a total mis­con­cep­tion of how nature and evo­lu­tion works. If you decide to kill old or mature wildlife that still out­com­pete younger spec­i­mens you could take away a rel­e­vant force needed for the species to evolve and stay resilient. You could help sur­vive an unfit animal.

“Every sin­gle one of (these ani­mals) is going to die,” Knowl­ton said. “But if you have the power to put a value on it, and sup­ply those com­mu­ni­ties that are very poor with money … I believe it’s a very good sym­bi­otic rela­tion­ship,” says the hunter.
Yes, this is absolutely true, every ani­mal will die even­tu­ally, but putting a value on these ani­mals could mean that the com­mu­ni­ties the hunter talks about could become blinded by the easy money the ani­mals can deliver — when dead, bagged and on the wall of the hunter — until the point of no return.

The enor­mous fig­ures tro­phy hunters are will­ing to pay for killing big game is another thing that amazes me. The same hunter that jus­ti­fies the killing just because these ani­mals are going to die any­way, has suc­cess­fully bid US$ 350,000 at an auc­tion, in 2014, to hunt and kill a black rhi­noc­eros in Namibia. He also says “I care about all of wildlife in wild places, and I want it to be around for our future gen­er­a­tions.” So, why kill it I ask myself. Why don’t you just give the money to the peo­ple in the coun­tries where this wildlife exists, to help them and enable them to take mean­ing­ful con­ser­va­tion mea­sures, with­out you killing a pre­cious ani­mal. So, how sick must you be to pay so much money to do some­thing so utterly use­less, killing for the fun of it.

Is this why all those tro­phy hunters are smil­ing when they pose with the ani­mal they have just shot. Is this because they have just sat­is­fied their urge to kill an ani­mal, a spec­i­men of a threat­ened species, or the thought of how good this animal’s head will look on their wall at home.

And if the need to kill an ani­mal is dri­ving them, where does it end. How can that be sus­tain­able? For mankind or for wildlife …

In other words, the con­ser­va­tion through hunt­ing model is not a con­cept I value greatly.

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Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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