Zambia bans hunting of lions and leopards





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  1. #1
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    Default Zambia bans hunting of lions and leopards


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    Correct in fact all hunting concessions have been cancelled for the next 5 years.
    One of the reasons 2 week ago that the full top structure of ZAWA has been fired, due to corruption in the allocation of hunting licences and concessions
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2013/01/11 at 05:46 PM.

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    I dont want to get into a pro-hunt vs no-hunt debate. It could be complex even if the emotional issues are set aside.

    Something else is wrong here though. Only 1.6% of big cats are hunted, yet the numbers are dwindling. Surely these animals would breed at a higher rate than 1.6%?

    If these numbers are correct, the solution for the protection of the big cat numbers lies somewhere else.
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    Yes stop hunting and poaching in totality for 5 years in Zambia. The game numbers have been so depleted that there simply are not enough food for the big cats left.

    The Busanga pride used to be a unit of 30+ lions. Today the unit is down to a hand full and one of the big reasons are that the lechwe and buff numbers have declined. Yes their must have been lion poaching as well.

    Was in the Kafue NP less than 2 weeks ago.....5 gunshots went off.....poaching is rife and ZAWA as stated by more than one authority on the issue is at the center of the poaching problem.

    This Minister is taking no nonsense from anyone, I have hope that she might just be the one to save the Zambian wildlife and therefore tourism.
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2013/01/11 at 06:39 PM.

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    Well said Bertie.

    My issue is that most of the hunting takes place in the Game Management Areas. These adjoin national parks such as Kafue with no intervening fences or barriers to prevent endangered game from spilling over. I have absolutely no objection to hunting taking place in dedicated, fenced commercial game farms.
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    I have told the story before of a GMA on the eastern edge of the Kafue, which allows (allowed) 1 lion to be shot per year. Naturally, the hunters who paid big bucks to shoot a lion wanted a big male trophy, and so the pride male of the only lion pride in the area was killed every year. A new pride male would arrive every year to fill the gap......

    ........and kill all the cubs sired by the previous male the bring the females into season. Perfectly natural behaviour, but it means that the pride hadn't raised a cub to adulthood for 9 years. Thankfully, this stupidity should in theory end.

    I do worry about the enforcement of this ban. ZAWA is a poor organisation with some very good people. The guys on the ground, underfunded and under-equipped, do some good work in some areas (usually at the instigation of the local lodge owners, such as the McBride's, Mukambi etc). In other areas they are the ones doing the killing. So, I simply don't know how this is going to work in practice, but it is a huge step in the right direction. I hope it allows some breathing space for an academic study of how hunting in such an uncontrolled environment can work to help the local ecology, and, of course, I hope it helps boost game numbers radically.

    Consider this. Game wardens in all African countries are often recruited from local communities. These are the guys who know the area best. However, they also know the poachers: they come from the same villages, and the same families. If those poachers are their brothers or their cousins.......well, would you put your own brother in an African jail for shooting a kudu?

    Those commenting in the light of South African experience, must realise that the situations are very different indeed. For a start, the state owns all animals in Zambia. This means that there is no incentive for game farms, and so none exist. There is no private enterprise involved in breeding wildlife. Secondly, you might think your system in SA is poorly managed and corrupt, but in comparison to Zambia it is really pretty good, and, you have lots and lots of money. You simply cannot apply the SA model to Zambia, in the current circumstances. It may come one day, but not now.

    Does anyone know whether this applies to Mushingashi? There hunting has worked brilliantly to increase animal numbers. (Actually, it is not that simple.......hunting is the justification for a middle eastern family to fund a comparatively enormous operation to protect the area, but hunting is limited to only a handful of hunts per year. It could be said that the lesson learned there is that large amounts of money and military-style enforcement are the key to successful wildlife management)

    Great news. Now let's see how it works out.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2013/01/11 at 09:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    Does anyone know whether this applies to Mushingashi? There hunting has worked brilliantly to increase animal numbers. (Actually, it is not that simple.......hunting is the justification for a middle eastern family to fund a comparatively enormous operation to protect the area, but hunting is limited to only a handful of hunts per year. It could be said that the lesson learned there is that large amounts of money and military-style enforcement are the key to successful wildlife management)
    More often than not it is the balanced approach that works. Military style solutions also seems to be hugely more effective in general for African solutions. Bold statement.....perhaps, but a human rights/animal rights solution just does not seem to inspire confidence
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    ...........................

    Consider this. Game wardens in all African countries are often recruited from local communities. These are the guys who know the area best. However, they also know the poachers: they come from the same villages, and the same families. If those poachers are their brothers or their cousins.......well, would you put your own brother in an African jail for shooting a kudu?

    .................................................. .................................................. ..... .
    Great news. Now let's see how it works out.

    Mike
    I beg to differ here Mike. The rural folks live a different kind of life with different rules to the city dwellers. Take what happened to Herman with his moffie sakkie and his cosmetics, the chief spoke the word and the misunderstanding was resolved. The same happens when one member of a family is given an "official" job, the status that this brings and the pride and dedication that the job is done with is unbelievable. It is a well known and accepted fact that ex poachers make the best anti poaching operatives. Their tracking and field skills are exceptional and they know how the poachers think.

    I know a village that was well known as poachers for the bush meat trade and when a member of the village was employed as a ranger that whole village turned.
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    Agreed, Henk, but being Africa, the opposite happens too. I know of a head scout whose brother is a big poacher.

    My general point is that things in Zambia aren't the same as in South Africa.....and that there are no simple solutions, particularly in messy societies. Anyone who thinks anti-poaching is simple, well, let's say this......I think you might find it's more complicated than that.

    Mike
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    This ban is great news, if only the so called "powers that be" in SA would wake up and do the same for our animals that are being poached to extinction.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Errol View Post
    This ban is great news, if only the so called "powers that be" in SA would wake up and do the same for our animals that are being poached to extinction.
    This is a very simplistic argument. Their is plenty of evidence to show that when hunters are in operation in an area the poaching decreases dramatically. The hunters "compete" with the poachers for resources, with the exception that they pay the state a concession fee, as well as a licence fee for each animal. The end result is that it is in the hunters interest to limit poaching, and as they generally only hunt old, unproductive males the widlife in the area has a much better chance of survival.

    A mate of mine has a concession in the GMA areas in the south-west of the Luangwa valley. It costs them $120,000 a year to run. ZAWA have already taken away elephant hunting, and now cat hunting, which leaves very little to be harvested to cover the expenses. The end result may be that he walks away from his concession, with dire consequences for the staff and game, and even the Zambian government should they not find another concessionaire.

    PS. I'm not a hunter, but have seen first hand the benefits responsible hunting brings to wild areas in Africa. This is a very short-sighted move by the Zambian authorities (and by Botswana as well).

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    I disagree with you Rob. I believe it was necessitated by enormous corruption in the allocation and policing of those hunting concessions, and is a reasonable emergency procedure, giving all parties the time to come up with a new system which works. The old one didn't work at all well.

    Mike
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    By its very definition hunting is a managed program implying payment of some kind, poaching is not. The bottom line is that very few people with licensed fire arms poach. poacher with illegal fire arms don't play by the rules, so bringing out a new law wont help.

    Remember what the prohibition did to the mafia in the USA in the early day's. Asia is demanding these products and for a price someone will provide, bottom line. Like it or not bunny huggers, like it or not.
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    Any chance you could read the rest of the thread, James, before you come in here sneering?

    Mike
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    Some interesting notes and detailed background to the ongoing issues in Zambia

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    Hunting generates income, but for the wrong people. Politics creates legislative framework, but seemingly provides more comfort for those who hold office. Poverty creates a new set of rules that seldom stands in line with the intended legislative outcome.

    From what I read in these notes........it is all about money and influence and nothing about animal conservation, despite it being about animal conservation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigardt View Post
    Hunting generates income, but for the wrong people. Politics creates legislative framework, but seemingly provides more comfort for those who hold office. Poverty creates a new set of rules that seldom stands in line with the intended legislative outcome.

    From what I read in these notes........it is all about money and influence and nothing about animal conservation, despite it being about animal conservation?
    You have said it well
    I could not agree more.

    Chris.

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