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Hunting in Africa: Myth vs Fact

 

MYTH: Hunting led to a decrease in the black rhino populations in Africa.

FACT: Hunting does not have a negative impact on the black rhino population. For example, potential removal of 5 certified surplus bulls by hunters would account for 0.26% of Namibia’s black rhino population, at most only a fraction of the annual growth rate. In fact, hunting has helped the black rhinos. Since 2004, when the CITES Parties approved an export quota of five black rhino/year from both Namibia and South Africa, black rhino populations have increased by 67%, with only 47 black rhino hunted from 2005 to 2015 (Conservation Force, “Namibia’s Rhino Conservation Success)

 

MYTH: Hunting is the same as poaching

FACT: Legal, regulated hunting is the opposite of poaching. In fact, hunters contribute the most to anti-poaching efforts. In Namibia, for example, anti-poaching success is largely due to the resources available from conservation hunting. (Conservation Force, “Namibia’s Rhino Conservation Success)


MYTH: Photo safaris could replace the positive impacts made by hunting, without taking any animals.

FACT: Photographic tourism cannot replace the conservation funds gained through hunting. Rhino hunting is low impact and high value. Photographic tourism is the opposite, and it has not succeeded in much of Namibia, especially the communal conservancies. (Conservation Force, “Namibia’s Rhino Conservation Success)

 

MYTH: Hunting is hurting endangered Elephant populations

FACT: Safari hunting has been generating benefits and revenues that are especially effective and unique in conserving elephants. Most of the African countries with sizable elephant populations rely on hunting as an important part of their national wildlife conservation strategies, especially Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Half the world’s African elephant inhabit these six countries. They also protect about 40% of the global African elephant range. It is not coincidental that these six countries maintain the most elephant. (Conservation Force, “Benefits to Elephant Conservation from Safari Hunting”)

 

MYTH: African conservationists oppose hunting.

FACT: Most of the African countries with sizable elephant populations rely on hunting as an important part of their national wildlife conservation strategies, especially Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the leading lion ecologists agree that “the most important benefit from an African conservation perspective is that trophy hunting maintains vast areas of land for wildlife.” (Conservation Force, “Benefits to Elephant Conservation from Safari Hunting”)

 

MYTH: Hunting reserves take away African habitat that would be protected by the government.

FACT: The land set aside for safari hunting is 1.5 to 5 times larger than the strictly‐protected national parks in Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. More habitat generally means more animals. (Conservation Force, “Benefits to Elephant Conservation From Safari Hunting”)

 

MYTH: Revenues made by hunting only go to the outfitters and do not benefit the environment or the local African people

FACT: A significant portion of these revenues is directed to wildlife department operating budgets and used for anti‐poaching/enforcement, and to community development.(Conservation Force, “Community Benefits from Tourist Safari Hunting”)

 

MYTH: Legally hunting elephant is the same as poaching for Ivory.

FACT: The money spent on legal elephant hunts contributes to fighting the illegal ivory trade. Because commercial ivory poaching is the greatest threat to the global elephant population, the contribution from hunting activities is significant, especially because of the remoteness and breadth of hunting areas (Conservation Force, “Benefits to Elephant Conservation From Safari Hunting”)

 

MYTH: Hunters are the number 1 threat to lion populations in Africa.

FACT: Lion populations depend on hunters to survive. Loss of habitat is the biggest threat to lion populations, and tourist safari hunting protects and secures the largest share of lion and prey habitat. In Tanzania, approximately 56.8% of the lion found in protected areas are found in hunting areas. (Conservation Force, “The Surprising Benefits of Safari Lion Hunting”)

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