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  1. #141
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Very sad that it seems to have come to this.

    But on the other hand it seems to be the african way ...

    Look at lesotho, how much wildlife do tou see there?

    Zimbabwe?
    Mozambique?

    I think this is driven by a need for income as Namibia is way past bankrupt! A question of desperate times calling for desperate measures?

    Either way, it does not bode well for the animals.

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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    That doesn’t make easy reading. I know a number of different takes on the situation but there’s only going to be one truth.
    I do know that we’ve seen numbers of game reducing year on year over the last 10yrs, there used to be game across the Marienfluss and Giribes, now there’s mainly cattle. The game has been pushed further out towards Hartmanns and west of Giribes.
    Various conservationists have told us this is mostly a natural drought cycle but it is telling that since the moratorium on shooting the number seemed to rise, this Jan/Feb we counted more than in the previous 3yrs.
    Perhaps we were lucky.
    Im sure the drought is reducing numbers, cattle obviously less adapted than desert game , however the human influence around the main water sources is swamping the game out.
    Puros gorge used to have high numbers , this last year we counted over 400 cattle in the gorge, the small Ellie herd, one gemsbok and one ostrich. Those last two fled at high speed much sooner than one would ordinarily expect , a sure sign that they realise they’re being targeted by humans.
    We can’t speak for the Gomatum, there’s usually been game down there before Giribes but of course all the predators have been destroyed. I doubt there are any lion in any meaningful way north of the Hoanib now
    You can read what you like into these comments, however it’s communal land, community owned, and to a great extent it’s up to the individual communities to manage it as they will. If they don’t get benefit from preserving the natural order then very few will . We’re no different.
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  5. #144
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Yes this year its bad. I reduced stock load to less than 50% and now have to feed the rest. No grazing. For 25 years I manages to be sustainable.

    So yes the pressure is huge all over and numbers have, or will or must one or the other way reduce. Conflict will also increasing, thus such incident might not an isolated case.
    Last edited by JLK; 2019/07/16 at 12:32 PM.
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Just to point out that both this article and the previous one referenced (https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/ic...unter-28317901) were paid for by the Conservation Action Trust, which is an anti-hunting lobby group with a very strong animal rights ideology. They commission sympathetic journalists (and pay well) to write articles, and the frequency of those articles always increases dramatically in the run-up to the Cites (Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species Conference of the Parties) triennial conference, which takes place in Geneva next month. Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia have applied to have elephants delisted to Appendix II which will allow limited trade to raise money for conservation, and particularly community conservation, at the Geneva talks.
    Re the Melissa Reitz article (the first one referenced above) it is almost entirely based on the writings of one person, Christiaan Bakkes, who writes very entertaining books about his experiences in the bush, but who is not the most reliable source when it comes to community conservation in the Kaokoveld and Damaraland, having parted ways with both the IRDNC and a major tour company where he was a guide for various reasons which are not necessary to air here.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/07/16 at 01:37 PM.
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  8. #146
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    As usual Tony, you have presented a picture that makes us armchair journalists look like the real amateurs we are and equally highlights the highly emotive states that both sides of the divide bring to the party.

    Thank you for your unbiased outlook. it really is very difficult to separate the facts without in depth research.
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    As usual Tony, you have presented a picture that makes us armchair journalists look like the real amateurs we are and equally highlights the highly emotive states that both sides of the divide bring to the party.

    Thank you for your unbiased outlook. it really is very difficult to separate the facts without in depth research.
    By above logic, anyone writing for a pro hunting lobby must also then not be trusted, being paid well for by the hunting lobby. That bring us to the question, what articles can you really trust, or can you trust any reporter/writer? Clearly they write "facts" for those that pay them and not necessary the truth.
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Quote Originally Posted by JCMostert View Post
    By above logic, anyone writing for a pro hunting lobby must also then not be trusted, being paid well for by the hunting lobby. That bring us to the question, what articles can you really trust, or can you trust any reporter/writer? Clearly they write "facts" for those that pay them and not necessary the truth.
    Agreed, Ot a bit but VW emission, climate change and diesel fuel comes to mind.
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Quote Originally Posted by JCMostert View Post
    By above logic, anyone writing for a pro hunting lobby must also then not be trusted, being paid well for by the hunting lobby. That bring us to the question, what articles can you really trust, or can you trust any reporter/writer? Clearly they write "facts" for those that pay them and not necessary the truth.
    That's the difference between journalism and public relations. The journalists who write for the CAT all sincerely believe in what they are writing, but they are writing from a particular viewpoint. Generally speaking, it will be rare for a professional journalist to write a paid-for article for a lobby group which pushes a particular line. I turn down commissions like that (including from the pro-hunting lobby) on a regular basis. Below is my column on the issue which appeared in Afrikaans in Die Burger (and on Netwerk24) today, and which will be on Daily Maverick tonight:

    Man Friday, July 16, 2019 Voortrekker
    By Tony Weaver

    An elephant by any other name… is still an elephant

    First published in Die Burger, July 16, 2019.

    Whatever animal rights activists may say, there was nothing unique about the elephant someone named ‘Voortrekker’, other than that he had a good set of tusks, had a name, and was previously saved from hunting by a campaign that raised enough money to buy the hunting permit.


    There is a certain inevitability to it.
    Every three years, the anti-hunting, animal rights lobby steps up the rhetoric around trophy hunting, accompanied by sponsored feature articles on why hunters are so evil (I also don’t like hunting).
    The pro-hunting lobby – backed by scientists and wildlife managers – releases articles on why hunting is an essential tool in African conservation.
    Why every three years? Because that’s when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Cites, meets to consider amendments to its trade rules. It meets in Geneva next month.
    The most controversial proposal is one from Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to allow limited trade in elephant products.
    The three countries all have hunting as part of their conservation toolbox and are home to an estimated 237,000 elephants. Southern Africa accounts for about 293,000, or around 70%, of Africa’s remaining elephants.
    Crucially, the proposal to delist elephants to allow for controlled trade contains the rider that “the proceeds of the trade are (to be) used exclusively for elephant conservation and community conservation and development programmes within or adjacent to the elephant range”.
    In the middle of all this comes the hunting in Namibia of a bull elephant given the name “Voortrekker”.
    It was a serious misstep by Namibia to grant a hunting permit for a bull that has sentimental (and propaganda) value for animal rights activists at this sensitive stage in the lead-up to Cites. The activists have seized on that misstep, launching a massive social media campaign, plus the placing of articles sponsored by an anti-hunting NGO.
    Namibia’s response was aggressive, but spot on: the naming of an individual animal did not in any way change its conservation status. “They (critics) cannot look into the future to see where Namibia needs to be in decades to come. They rather look at each elephant individually. This is not a conservation-biology approach, but a short-term animal rights approach which is counter-productive to long-term conservation.”
    Naming individual animals, that always become “iconic” once hunted, is a key tool in the animal rights workbox.
    Whatever the activists may say, there was nothing unique about “Voortrekker”, other than that he had a good set of tusks (albeit one was broken), had a name, and was previously saved from hunting by a campaign that raised enough money to buy the hunting permit.
    Namibia has around 22,000 elephants, from about 7,000 in 1995. Half of those 22,000 are NOT in national parks, but in communal areas whose people live daily with human-wildlife conflict. They benefit materially from wildlife through Namibia’s internationally lauded Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme.
    That programme, painstakingly built up over decades by a handful of dedicated wildlife professionals, has seen Namibia’s wildlife flourish outside national parks.
    A key part of CBNRM is raising funds for community conservation through hunting. And yet, much of the hype around “Voortrekker” has been in the form of direct attacks on CBNRM. What a short-sighted, anti-conservation approach!
    Expect that noise, and the frequency of sponsored articles, to increase as Cites approaches.
    Here’s my plea to wildlife authorities – please, don’t issue any more hunting permits for animals with arbitrary pet names like “Skylion”, “Cedric” or “Big Tooth” in the run-up to Cites.

    ends
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  13. #150
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Tony, thank you for the valuable info you bring to this matter.

    I do however think that merely positioning this matter as anti-hunters (greenies / bunny huggers) vs pro hunting (scientific conservationists) is a stretch.

    Is the issue at hand not the way in which the permit was issued, the fact that there is no verified proof (that we are aware of) that specifically links Voortrekker to the damage that MET used to justify the declaration of Voortrekker as a problem animal, thus allowing it to be hunted?
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Generally speaking, it will be rare for a professional journalist to write a paid-for article for a lobby group which pushes a particular line.
    Sorry Tony but I can not agree, I try to think of one professional journalist that do not push for a particular line (either his own agenda or a lobby group, whether he gets paid extra for it or not). The article you post is pro hunting, hence the "– backed by scientists and wildlife managers –" part. There are also many scientists and wildlife managers that disagree on hunting, but you don't mention that in your article, or the fact that there are very successful anti hunting reserves that survive just fine without hunting as means to get funding. Also "What a short-sighted, anti-conservation approach!" that is an opinion, your opinion, nothing else. (this is not an attack on you, just my observation of your article).

    I don't believe it is possible for a journalist to write an article without being bias in some way, humans by default is emotional and opinionated and will always be directed by their emotions, it is human nature. Even the famous (or infamous depending on opinion) Max Du Preez is a clear left inclined pushing his own opinions and political views, yet most of the mainstream media houses will see him as a 'excellent' journalist. Take it further, you go to the USA you get two types of journalists pro Trump or anti Trump journalists, all are 'professional' but they all push their own political views. Jeremy Clarkson comes to mind also, on paper an amazing journalist, but he is as pro Land Rover and pro British as you can get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCMostert View Post
    Sorry Tony but I can not agree, I try to think of one professional journalist that do not push for a particular line (either his own agenda or a lobby group, whether he gets paid extra for it or not). The article you post is pro hunting, hence the "– backed by scientists and wildlife managers –" part. There are also many scientists and wildlife managers that disagree on hunting, but you don't mention that in your article, or the fact that there are very successful anti hunting reserves that survive just fine without hunting as means to get funding. Also "What a short-sighted, anti-conservation approach!" that is an opinion, your opinion, nothing else. (this is not an attack on you, just my observation of your article).

    I don't believe it is possible for a journalist to write an article without being bias in some way, humans by default is emotional and opinionated and will always be directed by their emotions, it is human nature. Even the famous (or infamous depending on opinion) Max Du Preez is a clear left inclined pushing his own opinions and political views, yet most of the mainstream media houses will see him as a 'excellent' journalist. Take it further, you go to the USA you get two types of journalists pro Trump or anti Trump journalists, all are 'professional' but they all push their own political views. Jeremy Clarkson comes to mind also, on paper an amazing journalist, but he is as pro Land Rover and pro British as you can get.
    You're confusing news reporting and opinion - my column (and Max du Preez's columns) are clearly located as Opinion pieces. The two articles from the CAT are not - they are presented as clear presentations of fact, not opinion, although they reflect a clear opinion bias on the part of the two writers. The two (news and opinion) are sadly often blurred these days, a reflection on the poor state of editing (and experience) in many media houses. One used to have been a reporter for many years before being allowed to write opinion articles - sadly, that is no longer the case, and many very junior reporters now routinely write opinion pieces, often on subjects they know nothing about. It's partially the curse of social media and its influence on journalism, where everybody has an opinion and can spout it freely without being challenged.
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  17. #153
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Thank you Tony

    In your article you state there are 7000 free roaming Ellie’s in Nam, I’m not convinced that paints a clear picture.
    The vast majority must be northeast and seasonal as they range through Khaudum and the Caprivi?
    By my reckoning the Ugab herd numbers between 20 and 30 animals? I say this as we have photos of the whole lot of them when they were last displaced by the river in flood and were sheltering near Doros.
    Now assuming my numbers are right, taking one lead animal from a herd that size must have social consequences for the rest of the herd or would that be a misunderstanding or are you unable to comment?
    It’s a huge range for a small number, all be very necessary, clearly more so now in drought times and if this particular Ellie has pushed the boundaries for feedstuff isn’t the IRDNC supposed to compensate?
    Why shoot? 120,000rand? A few years ago a buffalo round the Kruger was going for 80,000.
    Completely with you on naming, also on the conservationists as you well know. Do you know their views? From the reports I’ve seen the local authorities were not necessarily in favour? Even if the MET were
    Regards
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    Tony, thank you for the valuable info you bring to this matter.

    I do however think that merely positioning this matter as anti-hunters (greenies / bunny huggers) vs pro hunting (scientific conservationists) is a stretch.

    Is the issue at hand not the way in which the permit was issued, the fact that there is no verified proof (that we are aware of) that specifically links Voortrekker to the damage that MET used to justify the declaration of Voortrekker as a problem animal, thus allowing it to be hunted?
    That (the way in which the permit was issued) is not relevant to the points I was making, and should be (quite rightly) the subject of proper investigation by journalists in Namibia. I was commenting on the broader issue of hunting as a conservation tool. It is one of the biggest topics of debate and contention in African conservation right now, with the animal rights lobby totally opposed to any use of hunting as a management tool, and most (not all) wildlife managers, many of whom dislike hunting philosophically, supporting hunting as an essential tool a) as a revenue stream for impoverished communities living with wildlife conflict and b) as an important psychological tool for telling those communities in a visible way that conservation is a profitable business for them, and not a negative factor in their daily lives.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/07/16 at 04:29 PM.
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  20. #155
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Brain error : 22000 not 7000 . Apologies

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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    ​
    Quote Originally Posted by africancats View Post
    Thank you Tony

    In your article you state there are 7000 free roaming Ellie’s in Nam, I’m not convinced that paints a clear picture.

    As you corrected, there are estimated to be 22,000 elephants in Namibia, half of which are outside of national parks, ie 11,000. You're correct in saying that most of them are concentrated in the area between Etosha and the Botswana border. And yes, some of them are migratory, but elephant counting is usually done at the same time in all contiguous countries so that an accurate number can be established. Namibia did not participate in the Elephants Without Borders survey (I don't know the reasons) but Nam has very sophisticated science being done both by the MET and by independent scientists, so I have no reason to doubt their figures.

    The vast majority must be northeast and seasonal as they range through Khaudum and the Caprivi?
    By my reckoning the Ugab herd numbers between 20 and 30 animals? I say this as we have photos of the whole lot of them when they were last displaced by the river in flood and were sheltering near Doros.
    Now assuming my numbers are right, taking one lead animal from a herd that size must have social consequences for the rest of the herd or would that be a misunderstanding or are you unable to comment?

    Bulls don't lead herds, matriarch cows do. Bulls are often solitary and free-ranging on their own or with other bulls.

    It’s a huge range for a small number, all be very necessary, clearly more so now in drought times and if this particular Ellie has pushed the boundaries for feedstuff isn’t the IRDNC supposed to compensate?
    Why shoot? 120,000rand? A few years ago a buffalo round the Kruger was going for 80,000.
    The figure of Nam Dollars 120,000 has been bandied about, I haven't seen official confirmation of that. As far as I know, the going figure is quite a bit higher.

    Completely with you on naming, also on the conservationists as you well know. Do you know their views? From the reports I’ve seen the local authorities were not necessarily in favour? Even if the MET were

    I've emailed you on this - I have had several similar emails from conservationists in the field thanking me for my column.
    Regards
    Ed
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/07/16 at 05:27 PM.
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    Default Re: voortrekker....rip

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Oats View Post

    Tks Nys, at the same token it doesnt warrant unnecessary slaughtering of these predators


    SMH
    Forgive me if I missed your answer - I previously asked if you see any circumstance in which the eradication of a predator or other "problem" animal may be justified.
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