African Lion - ENDANGERED





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    Exclamation African Lion - ENDANGERED

    BEFORE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
    PETITION TO LIST
    THE AFRICAN LION (Panthera leo leo)
    AS ENDANGERED PURSUANT TO THE U.S. ENDANGERED
    SPECIES ACT
    © IFAW/D. Willetts
    March 1, 2011
    1
    Petition to List the African Lion as Endangered
    __________________________________________________ __
    Honorable Ken Salazar
    Secretary of the Interior
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington. D.C. 20240
    PETITIONERS
    The International Fund for Animal Welfare
    1350 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 1220
    Washington, DC 20036
    The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International
    2100 L Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20037
    The Born Free Foundation / Born Free USA
    PO Box 32160
    Washington, DC 20036
    Defenders of Wildlife
    1130 17th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    The Fund for Animals
    200 West 57th Street
    New York, NY 9011
    Date: March 1, 2011
    Jeffrey Flocken: The International Fund for Animal Welfare
    Teresa Telecky: The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International
    Adam Roberts: The Born Free Foundation/Born Free USA
    Wm. Robert Irvin: Defenders of Wildlife
    Michael Markarian: The Fund for Animals
    Cover photo: © IFAW/D. Willetts
    Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Nathan Herschler, Rowena
    Watson, Clifton Gaisford, Anna Frostic, Ralph Henry, Jason Rylander, Karen Baragona, Tracy
    Coppola for their invaluable assistance on this Petition. The decades of research by many
    scientists whose published work is cited in this Petition are also gratefully acknowledged.
    Authors: Jennifer Place, The International Fund for Animal Welfare; Jeffrey Flocken, The
    International Fund for Animal Welfare; Will Travers, The Born Free Foundation; Shelley
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    Waterland, The Born Free Foundation; Teresa Telecky, The Humane Society of the United
    States and Humane Society International; Caroline Kennedy, Defenders of Wildlife and
    Alejandra Goyenechea, Defenders of Wildlife.
    i. NOTICE OF PETITION
    Pursuant to Section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b),
    Section 553(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 553(e), and 50 C.F.R. §
    424.14(a), petitioners; The International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the
    United States and Humane Society International, The Born Free Foundation/Born Free USA,
    Defenders of Wildlife, and The Fund for Animals hereby Petition the Secretary of the Interior to
    list the African lion (Panthera leo leo) as Endangered.1 16 U.S.C. § 1532(6), (16) (“The term
    ‘endangered species’ means any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a
    significant portion of its range . . .”; “The term ‘species’ includes any subspecies of fish or
    wildlife . . .”).
    This Petition “presents substantial scientific [and] commercial information indicating
    that” the African lion subspecies is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion
    of its range. See 50 C.F.R. § 424.14(b)(1) (“substantial information” is “that amount of
    information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the
    Petition may be warranted”). Therefore, the Secretary of the Interior must make an initial finding
    “that the petitioned action may be warranted.” 16 U.S.C. §1533(b)(3)(A)(emphasis added) (The
    Secretary of the Interior must make this initial finding “[t]o the maximum extent practicable,
    within 90 days after receiving the Petition”). Petitioners are confident that a status review of the
    subspecies, as required by 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(3)(B), will support a finding that listing the
    African lion as Endangered is warranted.
    The African lion has suffered major reductions in population size across the continent,
    and such declines are ongoing because threats to the subspecies continue unabated. The United
    States has the opportunity to assist in protecting the iconic African lion by listing the subspecies
    as Endangered. Listing of the entire subspecies as Endangered, would meaningfully contribute to
    African lion conservation. Such a Continent-wide listing would allow the United States to
    support all range countries in their efforts to protect lion habitat and eliminate threats to the
    subspecies. Further, because unsustainable take, and subsequent imports of lion derivatives into
    the United States, contribute to endangerment throughout their range, importation of any African
    lion specimen deserves the level of scrutiny that an Endangered listing would provide, namely an
    analysis of whether the import would in fact enhance the propagation or survival of the
    subspecies or is for scientific purposes. The African lion has suffered major reductions in
    population size across the Continent, and such declines are ongoing because threats to the
    subspecies continue unabated. The United States has the opportunity to assist in protecting the
    iconic African lion by listing the subspecies as Endangered.
    ii. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    This Petition demonstrates that the African lion (Panthera leo leo) meets the statutory
    criteria for an Endangered listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
    1 The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) was listed as Endangered in 1970. 35 Fed. Reg. 8491 (June 2, 1970).
    3
    The petitioners – The International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the
    United States and Humane Society International, The Born Free Foundation/Born Free USA,
    Defenders of Wildlife, and The Fund for Animals – submit this Petition to the Secretary of the
    Interior requesting formal protection for the African lion as Endangered under the ESA. The
    ESA considers a species (including subspecies) to be “Endangered” when it “is in danger of
    extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” 16 U.S.C. § 1532(6). The Act
    requires the Secretary to determine within 90 days of receiving the Petition whether the Petition
    “presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action
    may be warranted.” 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(3)(A). Such determination must be made solely on the
    basis of the “best scientific and commercial data available.” 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(1)(A).
    Following a positive 90-day finding, the Secretary must, within one year of receipt of the
    Petition, complete a review of the status of the species and publish either a proposed listing rule
    or a determination that such listing is not warranted. 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(3)(B). Should a rule be
    proposed, the Secretary has an additional year to finalize regulations protecting the species. 16
    U.S.C. § 1533(b)(6)(A).
    When a foreign species is listed as endangered, protection under the ESA occurs by, inter
    alia, prohibiting imports unless they enhance the propagation or survival of the species or are for
    scientific purposes. 16 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(1)(A). Furthermore, Section 8 of the ESA provides for
    “International Cooperation” in the conservation of foreign, listed species, and listing a foreign
    species heightens global awareness about the importance of conserving the species.
    This Petition describes the natural history and biology of the African lion and the current
    status and distribution of the subspecies; it clearly shows that its population size and range are in
    alarming and precipitous decline. The Petition reviews the threats to the continued existence of
    the African lion, including retaliatory killing due to attacks on livestock, loss of habitat and prey,
    and disease. The Petition also demonstrates how Americans engaging in unsustainable trophy
    hunting and international trade of lions and lion parts are significantly and negatively impacting
    the conservation status of the African lion. It then explains how existing laws and regulations are
    inadequate to address the numerous and interacting threats to the African lion today. Lastly, the
    Petition demonstrates how an Endangered listing of the African lion under the ESA will result in
    significant benefits to the subspecies.
    Status and Distribution
    In 2008, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified the
    African lion as Vulnerable with a declining population trend, which means it is considered to be
    facing a high risk of extinction in the wild (Bauer et al., 200. This classification is based on a
    suspected reduction in population of approximately 30 percent over the past two decades (Bauer,
    et al. 200. However, African lion experts have now agreed that the population size is less than
    40,000 with an estimated range of 23,000 to 39,000 (Bauer et al., 200. The most quantitative
    estimate of the historic size of the African lion population resulted from a modeling exercise that
    predicted there were 75,800 African lions in 1980 (Ferreras & Cousins, 1996; Bauer et al., 200.
    Comparing the 1980 estimate of 75,800 to the 2002 estimate of 39,000 lions yields a suspected
    decline of 48.5 percent over 22 years. Additionally, since 2002, several studied African lion
    populations are known to have declined or disappeared altogether (Henschel, et al., 2010).
    The African lion now occupies less than an estimated 4,500,000 km2, which is only 22
    percent of the subspecies’ historic distribution (Bauer et al., 200. The latest research suggests
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    the African lion exists in 27 countries (Bauer et al., 2008; Henschel et al., 2010), down from 30
    countries in 2008, just 3 years ago (Bauer et al., 200, illustrating that the status of the African
    lion continues to deteriorate.
    Populations of African lions that are both viable and exist in largely protected areas,
    occur in only about 5 percent of their currently occupied range and 1.1 percent of their historical
    continent-wide range. Thus, African lions are endangered both across a significant portion
    (approximately 95 percent) of their current range and across a significant portion (approximately
    99 percent) of their historical range.
    Threatened Destruction, Modification, Curtailment of Habitat or Range
    Loss of habitat and corresponding loss of prey are serious threats to the survival of the
    African lion (Ray et al., 2005). These threats are principally driven by human activity, including
    conversion of lion habitat for agriculture and grazing as well as human settlement (Ray et al.,
    2005). Human population growth has been specifically identified as the root cause of many
    problems associated with the conservation of lions because of increasing human settlement in
    lion habitat and associated agriculture and livestock production (IUCN, 2006a). It is therefore of
    concern that the human population of sub-Saharan Africa, which was 518 million in 1990, is
    predicted to rise to 1.75 billion people by 2050 (UN DESA, 200.
    Other related threats to African lion habitat and prey include the bushmeat trade, civil
    unrest and desertification. The expanding human population has resulted in increased
    consumption of bushmeat which has severely reduced some lion prey species, causing conflict
    between lions and humans competing for the same resources (Parliamentary Office of Science
    and Technology, 2005; IUCN, 2006b). Civil unrest within sub-Saharan Africa degrades
    otherwise suitable lion habitat through the overharvesting of wildlife and vegetation (Dudley et
    al., 2002). Lastly, land degradation through desertification is predicted to lead to the loss of twothirds
    of arable land in Africa by 2025 (Bied-Charreton, 200, which will further increase
    competition between humans and lions.
    Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, or Scientific Purposes
    The African lion is clearly over-utilized. The original analysis presented in this Petition
    shows that between 1999 and 2008, 21,914 African lion specimens (lions, dead or alive, and
    their parts and derivatives), reported as being from a wild source, being the equivalent of at least
    7,445 lions, were traded internationally for all purposes. Of this trade, the United States imported
    13,484 lion specimens reported as being from a wild source (62 percent of the total), which is the
    equivalent of at least 4,021 lions (54 percent of the total). The most common purposes of this
    international trade were scientific, recreational and commercial.
    Between 1999 and 2008, 7,090 lion specimens, reported as being from a wild source,
    were traded internationally for recreational trophy hunting purposes, representing a minimum of
    5,663 lions. Most of these specimens were imported to the United States: 4,139 specimens (58
    percent of the total), representing a minimum of 3,600 lions (64 percent of the total). Despite the
    significant and continuing population and range declines that this subspecies has suffered and
    continues to suffer, the number of lion trophies, reported as being from a wild source and traded
    for hunting trophy purposes, imported to the United States, is increasing. Of these trophies, the
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    number imported into the United States in 2008 was larger than any other year in the decade
    studied and more than twice the number in 1999.
    From 1999 to 2008, 2,715 lion specimens, reported as being from a wild source, the
    equivalent of at least 1,043 lions, were traded internationally for commercial purposes (defined
    as “for the purpose of sale in the importing country.”) Of this trade, the United States imported
    1,700 lion specimens (63 percent of the total), the equivalent of at least 362 lions (35 percent of
    the total). The most common lion specimens traded for commercial purposes were claws,
    trophies, skins, live animals, skulls and bodies.
    The aforementioned international trade figures include lion specimens reported as being
    from a wild source that were exported from South Africa. From 1999 to 2008, South Africa
    reported exporting a number of specimens equivalent to 2,862 wild-source lions. Since the
    estimated number of wild lions in South Africa in 2002 ranges between 2,716 and 3,852 it seems
    highly unlikely that the aforementioned 2,862 South African lions involved were all wild source.
    Therefore, the South Africa trade data specifically must be treated with caution.
    Twenty African range States exported lions and lion parts reported as being wild-source
    between 1999 and 2008. A country-by-country examination of the number of lions exported and
    reported as being from a wild source, and the status of the wild population in each country
    reveals that off-take was unsustainable in at least sixteen of these twenty range States.
    Specifically, the United States imported lion specimens from twelve range States where the
    reported data indicate that the off-take was unsustainable. Therefore, even setting aside the South
    African data, clearly the lion is overexploited for these purposes across sub-Saharan Africa.
    In addition to the direct killing of the targeted individual, trophy hunting can have further
    population impacts. For example, when males that are part of a pride are killed, all the pride’s
    cubs less than nine months of age will be killed by new dominant males (Whitman et al., 2004).
    Listing the African lion as Endangered under the ESA would end imports of commercial and
    recreational lion trophies and all lion specimens into the United States, unless they are found to
    enhance the survival or propagation of the species or are for scientific purposes. 16 U.S.C. §
    1533(b)(1)(A). Lions are also killed for purposes that do not involve legal international trade.
    However, there are no comprehensive data on the levels or impact of these activities.
    Disease or Predation
    Diseases such as canine distemper virus (CDV), feline immunodeficiency virus and
    bovine tuberculosis are viewed by experts as a threat to the African lion (Roelke et al., 2009;
    Cleaveland, 2007). Human population growth and expansion is exposing lions to new diseases to
    which they may have little or no immunity (IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group, 2006). For
    example, during the past two decades, diseases normally associated with domesticated dogs,
    such as CDV, have affected lion populations (Woodroffe et al., 2004).
    Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms
    The African lion is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in
    Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which means that export permits should
    not be granted unless the export is determined not to be detrimental to the survival of the species
    in the wild. Nonetheless, this petition demonstrates that lion specimens are routinely exported
    from countries across their range where lion off-take is detrimental to the survival of the
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    subspecies. This means that the United States regularly allows imports of lion specimens
    accompanied by export permits issued by countries where lion off-take is unsustainable. This is a
    clear indication that CITES, as currently implemented, is inadequate to protect the African lion
    from unsustainable international trade.
    The country that imports the most wild-source African lion specimens—the United
    States—has no meaningful protective measures for the subspecies, despite the evidence that
    imports are having a detrimental impact. An Endangered listing under the ESA would ensure that
    lion specimens could only be imported to the United States if the import enhances the survival or
    propagation of the species or is for scientific purposes.
    Conservation of the African lion could be potentially affected by several other
    international and African regional agreements, as well United States laws, but none of these
    adequately protect the subspecies from ongoing and rapid decline in population and range.
    Moreover, few range States appear to have adequate national regulatory mechanisms, or
    effective measures to implement and enforce such mechanisms should they exist, to address
    these declines. In summary, the threats to lions in Africa are exacerbated by insufficient
    regulatory mechanisms throughout their range (IUCN, 2006a; IUCN, 2006b).
    Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Survival of African Lions in the Wild
    The African lion is threatened by retaliatory killings, often associated with loss of prey,
    ritual killings, and compromised population viability due to increasingly small and isolated
    populations. Retaliatory killing, in particular, is a serious threat to the survival of the African lion
    (Chardonnet et al., 2010) and occurs in all major range States (Frank et. al, 2006). When the
    African lion’s prey is reduced by human or natural means, lions increasingly prey on domestic
    livestock (Chardonnet et al., 2010). Livestock predation is the main source of conflict between
    people and lions and can induce extreme human retaliation (Chardonnet et al., 2010). African
    lions are easily killed for retaliatory purposes by various means, but they are particularly
    vulnerable to poisons because of their scavenging nature (Hoare & Williamson, 2001; Ogutu and
    Dublin, 2002; Baldus, 2004).
    Conclusion
    This Petition demonstrates that the African lion meets the criteria for listing as
    Endangered under the ESA. The best scientific and commercial data available demonstrate that
    the population and range of the African lion have significantly decreased, and continue to
    decrease, and that the African lion is in danger of extinction throughout “all or a significant
    portion of its range” (16 U.S.C. § 1532(6)). The African lion faces serious threats due to overexploitation
    by recreational trophy hunting and commercial trade, loss of habitat and prey
    species, retaliatory killings, disease and other human-caused and natural factors. The subspecies
    is not adequately protected by existing regulatory measures at national, regional or international
    levels. Listing the African lion as Endangered under the ESA would be a meaningful step toward
    reversing the decline of the subspecies by ensuring that the United States does not allow the
    importation of lions or lion parts unless it is to enhance the propagation or survival of the species
    or is for scientific purposes, and by raising global awareness about the alarming and increasingly
    precarious status of the African lion

  2. #2
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    The African lion breeds very easily in captiviyy so it is very unlikely that they will ever be really endangered although there numbers in the wild has dwindled significantly.
    It is alarming though how many species have gone down in numbers!!!!!

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    Default African lion -Endangered

    Yes, check also this piece of information:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0617123443.htm

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    Conservationists believe that soon we'll have to deal with a new poaching scourge. Trading in tiger bones and body parts is a big business in the East and as they are rapidly killing off the last tigers left, it is expected that they will be moving onto our lions next.

    The human race is a disease moving from resource to resource leaving nothing but destruction behind.

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    i wish the human kind can also go down in numbers,aids is to slow,sorry but i just feel we as humans are irresponsible and selfish.

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    The summary I make from the data presented in the IFAW petition in the USA is that that big game hunting in this case of the african lion has a significant impact ;there are these research projects forever going on and of course most would have the relevant merit , but in most cases they are trying to learn the rural communities of africa that they should not kill lions ;that is fine, but in the meantime Cites issues hundreds of permits every year for the so called big($$$) game hunters ,specially from the USA, which essentially allows them to come to africa and sit with their professional hunters /guides in stationary blinds and shoot at the lions as the animals are attracted at the baits positioned near the blinds; they call this practice "hunting"... ;well the NatGeo site states that the estimate runs in hundreds of lions shot every year and exported to the USA alone as a result of big game hunting ; so who shoots and kills more lions ? USA big game hunters or the rural population of the continent as a result of the human /animal conflict situations in rural africa?
    Well to me it is a question of arithmetic, i do not need another phd report to tell me how to deal with the conflict situation in rural kenya, tanzania, mozambique etc etc ; stop Cites to issue permits and that itself will stop hundreds of lions being shot ev ery year in africa by the big ($$$) game hunters;what a disgrace for those so called big game hunters and their ph's ; instead of heeding the call and take an initiative for conservation they really show in my view a sense of arrogance ,greed and absence of hunting ethics towards our top land predator and iconic symbol of africa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickjeep View Post
    i wish the human kind can also go down in numbers,aids is to slow,sorry but i just feel we as humans are irresponsible and selfish.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayefe View Post
    for the so called big($$$) game hunters ,specially from the USA, which essentially allows them to come to africa and sit with their professional hunters /guides in stationary blinds and shoot at the lions as the animals are attracted at the baits positioned near the blinds; they call this practice "hunting"... ;

    stop Cites to issue permits and that itself will stop hundreds of lions being shot ev ery year in africa by the big ($$$) game hunters;what a disgrace for those so called big game hunters and their ph's ; instead of heeding the call and take an initiative for conservation they really show in my view a sense of arrogance ,greed and absence of hunting ethics towards our top land predator and iconic symbol of africa.
    While I agree with spirit of your arguement I do feel that the above is largely incorrect. Most lion are not taken from blinds, leopards are usually shot from blinds. Nevertheless...

    Although a hunter myself, I have never had the urge to shoot a big cat. I do believe that the "resource" should be scientifically managed, as with everything from minerals to animals and everything in between. Sustainability should be the watchword.

    This also might place the "canned" lion industry in a new role as "consevator", watch this space!
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    Yes Joao, since the days of Cain and Abel man was filled with bloodlust and just wanted to murder and slaughter and wipe species of the face of the earth ( how many species has gone extinct in the last 100 years ? )

    Man has even tried to eradicate man. How many millions of people has been killed in wars over the centuries ( then I am not even talking about World War 1 & 2.

    Some wise person has remarked that Man is the cruelest animal alive and the only one killing for sport.

    And once everything is gone, what then.

    How sad

    Chris Labuschagne.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayefe View Post
    The summary I make from the data presented in the IFAW petition in the USA is that that big game hunting in this case of the african lion has a significant impact ;there are these research projects forever going on and of course most would have the relevant merit , but in most cases they are trying to learn the rural communities of africa that they should not kill lions ;that is fine, but in the meantime Cites issues hundreds of permits every year for the so called big($$$) game hunters ,specially from the USA, which essentially allows them to come to africa and sit with their professional hunters /guides in stationary blinds and shoot at the lions as the animals are attracted at the baits positioned near the blinds; they call this practice "hunting"... ;well the NatGeo site states that the estimate runs in hundreds of lions shot every year and exported to the USA alone as a result of big game hunting ; so who shoots and kills more lions ? USA big game hunters or the rural population of the continent as a result of the human /animal conflict situations in rural africa?
    Well to me it is a question of arithmetic, i do not need another phd report to tell me how to deal with the conflict situation in rural kenya, tanzania, mozambique etc etc ; stop Cites to issue permits and that itself will stop hundreds of lions being shot ev ery year in africa by the big ($$$) game hunters;what a disgrace for those so called big game hunters and their ph's ; instead of heeding the call and take an initiative for conservation they really show in my view a sense of arrogance ,greed and absence of hunting ethics towards our top land predator and iconic symbol of africa.

    I am afraid that your understanding of the hunting industry is fatally flawed. Consider the following facts:
    1. before mid of last century, private individuals could not own game (this was the law). So ALL game were considered a threat to farming and they were killed for this reason (NOTE this was not hunting!!! The crop farmer kills game to prevent them helping themselves to his crops, or the stock farmers kills them because they compete for grazing). SO if you eat fruit, vegetables or grain products and meat, then YOU are supporting the eradication of game!!! (Civilisation kills game, not hunters).
    2. After the laws were changed, people started "farming" with game. Their market? The hunter! Was this successfull? Well a 1954 census of game in SA concluded that the total number of game animals were around 800 000. The 2007 census found 18 million game animals and the TOTAL area under managed game was more than FOUR times the size of all the national parks put together. All of this was paid for by SPORT HUNTERS!
    These are FACTS. This is the effect that sport hunting has had on the game numbers in this country. If the bleeding hearts have their way, and hunting is banned, then we'll return to the pre 1950's situation. The game farmers will switch to farming with something they CAN make a living out of (crops or domestic stock), and the game numbers will once again dwindle as they are killed as "problem animals" (Note not hunted!!!).


    NO OTHER HUMAN ACTIVITY HAS DONE AS MUCH FOR THE PRESERVATION OF GAME ANIMALS AS THE HUNTING INDUSTRY!! NONE, ZIP NOTHING!


    C
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Africa View Post
    NO OTHER HUMAN ACTIVITY HAS DONE AS MUCH FOR THE PRESERVATION OF GAME ANIMALS AS THE HUNTING INDUSTRY!! NONE, ZIP NOTHING!
    Carlos, I completely agree with you..........

    .............in South Africa.

    Unfortunately, most of the rest of Africa is very different, and game hunting is having a significant impact.

    I often use this example. In a GMA (Mushingashi) in Zambia there is one resident pride of lions. ZAWA licence the shooting of one lion there every year. So, the pride produces their cubs every year, the pride male gets shot, and a new male comes in from outside, kills all the cubs and impregnates the females to start the cycle all over again. Result, they haven't raised any cubs to maturity for years.

    Consider that that is in a place that is managed. Most of Africa is far worse than that, with little to no management at all. A rich Saudi just has to approach a local official somewhere and he can shoot whatever he fancies.

    Spreading the South Africa experience across the continent would be a big help, but generally, across the continent as a whole (let alone across the rest of the world) game hunting is having a significant deliterious effect on game numbers.

    Mike
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    Very true Mike,

    Hunting needs to take place within a framework where "sustainable utilisation" will be promoted. Your example is a classic of total mismanagement.


    The massive overpopulation which has been allowed to develop in the Elephant populations in certain other areas is even more scary. If you destroy the vegatation through massive overutilisation, the topsoil will wash away and once the population numbers gets corrected (through starvation), the environment will take centuries to recover (if ever).

    C
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Africa View Post
    The massive overpopulation which has been allowed to develop in the Elephant populations in certain other areas is even more scary.
    I genuinely don't have clue about the answer, and I am making no point at all when I ask this...........do game farms have elephant populations?

    Mike
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    There are a very few of them that do. What I am referring to here is rather the national "parks". The Kruger is WAY over populated. The Northern parts of Botswana (Moremi etc), has an even bigger problem. Because of "bleeding heart" sentiments, no action (or too little in certain parts) is being taken to correct the situtaion.

    C
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    Well, if there is 4 times the area of the National Parks managed for wildlife (hunting), wouldn't part of the solution to the elephant issue be for them to have some on their land? Particularly easy for those on the border of Kruger, for instance......I'd have thought. Siimply open the fences. Or is this naiive and controversial?

    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    Well, if there is 4 times the area of the National Parks managed for wildlife (hunting), wouldn't part of the solution to the elephant issue be for them to have some on their land? Particularly easy for those on the border of Kruger, for instance......I'd have thought. Siimply open the fences. Or is this naiive and controversial?

    Mike

    Kruger is larger than the state of Israel, and currently it is believed that they have an overpopulation of 400%. Most of the farms next to the park have already been opened, but only those who abide by certain agreements, which INCLUDE they are not allowed to HUNT the ellies.


    The problems with your proposal:

    1. Unfortunately the large majority of the "managed Game farms" are small pockets (relative to the size you require for Ellies) that cannot accomodate even one elephant, let alone a breeding herd.
    2. You need VERY expensive special fencing to keep an Ellie in tact.
    3. The Ellie has no value for the Hunitng farm, as you cannot "hunt the ellies" (and the great majority of these farms are not geared for the champagne and caviar "eco tourists" [You need to build a 5 star hotel to cater for them])
    4. The logistics involved in trying to relocate between 7000 and 12000 Elephant from Kruger to other places is simply not doable.
    5. If you do move them, then what do you do ten years from now, when the numbers have increased by another 30 to 40%? Back to the same problem, except it is bigger.

    The above numbers relate to Kruger only. Estimates are the overpopulation in North Botswana is around 100 000 ellies too many.

    C
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    Talking of Botswana.........

    They have decided, apparently, to ban all hunting. This from the ASCF (Africa South Conservation Forum):

    Botswana Hunting Ban
    Botswana government is set to ban hunting throughout the country following a recent report by Dr Mike Chase, Elephants without Borders, which shows that some wildlife species have decreased by as much as 90% during the past 10 years. The decrease is due to hunting, poaching and bushfires. The Botswana government will promote photographic safaris only. Botswana does very well with its high end photographic safaris which are world-renowned. The change in legislation will also affect Batswana hunters who are used to having their quota. However, in the interests of their wildlife, the government feels that they have no alternative but to ban all hunting.The report shows that ostrich have declined by 95%, wildebeest by 90%, 84% of tsessebe, 81% of warthogs and kudu, around 60% of giraffe. This is since 1996.


    I hear what you say about the elephants, and am not arguing. I only asked out of interest and lack of knowledge. I suppose from a government perspective, they could require private game farms to maintain a certain elephant population as a condition of their licence if they had the will.......but, as you say, there are other obstacles.

    Mike
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    Mike,

    this is another CLASSIC example of a "bleeding heart" giving totally wrong advice.

    The simple fact is that the overpopulation of Elephants has placed severe strain on the grazing (fine during rainy season, in dry season, the grazing near water becomes totally exhausted, elllies walk up to 30 km from water to food, etc). In these circumstances, certain species are the first to suffer and their numbers dwindle sharply. I have a book on this, need to go and check, but I think one of the species which first start to dwindle is the Zebra, but there are also other rarer species.

    They don't give details of which species have "reduced by 90%" but I'll bet my bottom dollar, it is one of those feeling the pressure of the Elephant over population and has NOTHING to do with hunting.

    The hunting industry in Botswana is SO SMALL that they cannot dent the populations ever!


    C
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    Again Carlos, I can't disagree or agree with you, because I haven't read the report, nor do I know anything of Dr Chase. I am sure, though, that the Botswana governement would have a fairly balanced view on these things and wouldn't be doing this lightly.

    My general concern is much more with snaring and poisoning than with hunting......and again, I am talking of Africa other than SA.

    Mike
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