Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trophy hunting

Two very timely articles on trophy hunting. First up is a photograph collection at CNN from David Chancellor who traveled with trophy hunters in sub-Saharan Africa for four years.

Among the animals hunted in Africa are black rhinos, even though they’re an endangered species. Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, 10 black rhinos a year - five each in South Africa and Namibia - are allowed to be hunted for trophies. It’s estimated that hunters pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the right to take home a black rhino trophy, and the governments said the money is used to help pay for conservation efforts. Only adult male surplus black rhinos are to be hunted.

Arguments for trophy hunting as a conservation tool include sustainability, generating high revenue from few hunters and the ability to reduce illegal hunting,according to a 2008 report (PDF) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. And some countries such as Namibia have had success with increasing the numbers of its game through hunting and harvesting the animals, according The Economist.

Also from CNN is a report about the attempts to prevent the first regulated wolf hunt of the once-endangered gray wolf: As hunting season looms, wolf advocates move to protect the packs:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimates the state's wolf population to be about 3,000 wolves and says the target harvest of 400 wolves "is a conservative approach that does not pose a threat to the conservation of the population."

The wolf hunting and trapping season closes January 31 or whenever the 400 wolves are hunted, whichever comes first. More than 23,000 hunters entered the lottery to participate in the wolf hunting season, and 6,000 licenses will be given out.

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