Friday, March 22, 2013

Video: Hunting and Bubye Valley Conservancy (Zimbabwe)

A very interesting video that deconstructs the logic of incentive, land use priorities and conservation, in a very clear manner. Lions saving rhinos and a whole set of interrelated management symbiosis. It is seldom these stories that we see on social media and ones that should perhaps be occasionally inserted between the strident calls to save wildlife, the calls that appear to infrequently extend beyond cyberspace.
There is room for critical discussion here, of course, but the process is undeniably a useful one.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Controversy: Timbavati Rhino Hunting (South Africa)

This is an open letter from Timbavati Game Reserve Chairman Tom Hancock regarding the limited hunting of selected rhino in that reserve. A recent controversy erupted when it was ‘discovered’ (although it has proceeded quite openly for years) that amidst the current and alarming rhino poaching crisis in South Africa, white rhinos were being legally hunted in this flagship reserve along the western boundary of Kruger National Park. Accusations flew and social media exploded with vitriol.

1)      Should an individual’s personal revulsion to rhino hunting translate into ban or cessation? I understand someone’s personal aversion to hunting, or hunters, but do these sentiments equate to sound conservation polices? Ironically, some of the most respected and erudite conservationists say no, antipathy to rhino hunting should not translate into bans because properly conducted it is a tool that has served the species very well.

2)      It is clear that illegal horn traders have fronted as ‘legitimate’ clients with shady outfitters and there is no doubt that this ‘loophole’ is a serious threat to the industry and credible conduct. I agree that this is a serious problem, driving any current benefits towards a zero sum outcome.

The letter makes their case quite simply. Draw your own conclusions: