trophy hunting: killing or conservation

But critics say the benefits are exaggerated, and a convenient argument to make for those people who simply want to kill wild animals for sport. I know that the argument also makes no sense to the great many people who publicly and often volubly oppose trophy hunting today. “You spend an extended period of time learning from people on their land. One response even labeled the Dickman letter “defeatist” for defending business-as-usual practices instead of promoting these alternative conservation activities. In addition, the report found that trophy hunting income represents less than 2 percent of total tourism revenues in Africa. SUBMIT . You may know all about what happens to water aboveground, but what do you know about groundwater? I don’t want to call these ‘alternatives’ necessarily, because everything mentioned in our letter is already happening.”. “Alternatives to trophy hunting are a big part of the current discourse,” says Chelsea Batavia, a post-doctoral researcher in Oregon State University’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. You aren’t just coming in and shooting something within hours of landing at the airport. Rev up your mental engines and get your juices pumping in this high-octane petroleum quiz. by Prashant K. Khetan, CEO and General Counsel, Born Free USA. We need to BAN all bloodsports and start trying to save habitat for future generations. “There is so much innovation happening in Africa, led by Africans. Learn about the causes and effects of water scarcity at a global level, and about its strategies and solutions. Then, a month ago, in an interview with Piers Morgan on the UK’s ITV, Trump expressed firm opposition to recent attempts to encourage trophy hunting imports: I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed, and have the tusks bought back into this. Trophy hunting harms conservation by exacerbating the population decline of many imperiled species. The controversy started this past August when an initial letter in Science — from conservation biologist Amy Dickman of the University of Oxford, four additional authors and more than 120 other signatories — argued that banning trophy hunting would “negatively affect conservation efforts” and that “hunting reforms…should be prioritized over bans.”. Britannica botanist Melissa Petruzzello explores what keeps the world green… or not. Would banning trophy hunting actually harm conservation efforts, as some scientists argue? A debate over the future of trophy hunting points out that many effective alternatives to funding and supporting conservation have started to emerge. The role of trophy hunting in conservation is a tug-of-war that’s been playing out for years. Trophy hunting is most beneficial to lion conservation where revenues and user rights over wildlife are devolved, ensuring benefits from lion hunting compensate for their costs to local people, and where hunting is managed through long-term and competitively allocated concession systems. Tourism reforms could encourage domestic tourism, which keeps income within the country that generates it. Indeed, research on trophy hunting does show that it can produce substantial financial benefits, is likely to be supported by local communities, and can be associated with conservation gains. Katarzyna Nowak, the lead author of that response and a fellow at The Safina Center (as well as a Revelator contributor), says the letter had two main goals. For the elephant who escapes butchery by a trophy hunter – who preserves her life, and her dignity, and the head attached to her body – it’s simply about freedom and survival. Republican or Democrat, right or left – these allegiances should have no bearing on whether an animal gets to live. Domestic tourism in many developing countries is currently nearly nonexistent; residents travel mainly to visit friends and relatives, not to see the sights. Trump declared that he has ordered his administration to ban the importing of trophies, we still await an official announcement of the policy. On the other hand, trophy hunting can be a useful aspect of population control, most especially in the removal of problematic animals. Those are the conflicting positions taken over the past few months by dozens of scientists and conservation leaders, whose dueling letters in the journal Science have kicked off a debate over the future of the often-divisive practice of hunting big game for big bucks. Your actions as an informed consumer have great power, and consumer-driven change is already happening. Some of these alternatives are novel and experimental, but that is the nature of adaptive management.”. Over the past week I have done research, and found many interesting facts about trophy hunting, and today I will share them with you. Something similar could happen in the United States, where the recently reintroduced Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies (ProTECT) Act aims to amend the Endangered Species Act to prohibit the import of trophies from endangered and threatened animals. Trophy hunting fees help fund conservation. 1.26 million. “Trophy import bans present an opportunity to rethink how we can conserve wildlife in non-extractive ways that are consistent with shifting public opinion,” the letter stated. “Bushcraft has a very small footprint and makes for a much richer cultural exchange between foreign tourists and local people,” Nowak says. While we have experienced environmental challenges, 50 years of progress has shown us what we can do when we pull together. Batavia also approaches the debate from a different angle. Trophy hunting has been practiced in Africa and is still practiced in many African countries. Killing to Save: Trophy Hunting and Conservation in Mongolia Page, Lucy Academic Director: Sanjaasuren, Ulziijargal Project Advisor: Dalannast, Munkhnast Williams College Mathematics Ulaanbaatar and Khovd, Mongolia Mongolia: Geopolitics and … A lot of us are not against hunting. Player Help | All Access Help. But the monetary incentive to mange sustainable populations for hunting is the only protection lions currently have. Taking away does not add; it subtracts. We’ve seen this with elephants, rhinos, lions and other species. She co-authored a letter making an ethical case for ending trophy hunting. Which gases play an important role in climate change? It is clear that there have been, and continue to be, cases of poorly conducted and poorly regulated trophy hunting that require urgent action and reform. Though Pres. Does killing one really save the many? If it is 20% of revenues now, surely tourism could be encouraged and trophy hunting whittled down to zero, without causing much detriment. Test your knowledge with this quiz. conservation impact of trophy hunting varies according to numerous factors, includingwhether other viable alternatives are available. Research also concludes that a live elephant can bring in more than 30 times in conservation-focused tourism revenue than one sold and slaughtered in a trophy hunt. (After all, the highly successful Endangered Species Act was passed during Richard Nixon’s Republican presidency.) DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2006.00034.x. However, this Republican President’s statements give me (and many of my colleagues) hope that the administration might make the right decision (and, unequivocally, there is only one right decision): that allowing trophy hunters to import the heads of slaughtered elephants will not advance conservation. Wildlife conservation needs to recognise that every animal counts, and to find ways of funding conservation that do not involve more killing. Pollution is one of the most serious yet easiest problems to overcome because it relies on human actions. Test your knowledge of this "hot" topic with this quiz. “It will be slow at first, but to continue to say year after year that trophy hunting is irreplaceable and not taking any alternatives seriously is a problem.”. And now that alternatives are being popularized, we can review why it’s necessary to ban trophy hunting. Subscribe to The Revelator’s weekly newsletter. After the letter was published, some of its signatories were revealed to have ties to pro-hunting organizations, including the Dallas Safari Club and Safari Club International. The Dickman letter, she says, “strongly stated that there is sort of incontrovertible evidence for trophy hunting. As you might expect, a flurry of responses from other scientists quickly followed. The letters in Science come at a precarious time for trophy hunting, which faces changing public opinion and a rise in regulations against it. Where lion trophy hunting is run with sustainable quotas, and where no viable wildlife-friendly alternative exists, it is suggested that its removal seems likely to be negative for lion conservation. The industry is obviously feeling the pressure, which some experts speculate may have led to the Dickman letter and also contributed to the nature of the subsequent discussion. Killing animals for fun is an activity which divides opinion. Although these types of activities are starting to take off, they remain limited. I’d expect such strong condemnation of trophy hunting from a compassionate conservationist, but this was a quote from President Trump from November 2017: a Republican and an outspoken father of two proud trophy hunters, one of whom famously posed with a severed elephant tail. Ninety-nine percent of human rabies cases are contracted through dog bites. Photo: Jon Mountjoy (CC BY 2.0), is a freelance science writer based in Austin whose work has appeared in Scientific American, Mental Floss, Newsweek, Alert Diver and many other publications. Critics say the benefits are exaggerated and that killing big game animals is wrong. Is trophy hunting really the economic boon it is presented to be? Ethically, Batavia argues, we should address the effects of those lost lives in our policy, but she says trophy-hunting advocates don’t go down that road. To wit, the African elephant population plummeted from a few million in the early 1900s to approximately 425,000 today. Trophy hunting is a controversial topic in animal conservation… This form of hunting is done for sport rather than food and the aim is to obtain a ‘trophy’ of some sort, whether it be tusks, horns or a taxidermied head. Most animals can survive until they are too old to reproduce while retaining the instincts that allow them to compete for mates. She is the co-author of. Born Free USA; by Prashant K. Khetan, CEO and General Counsel, Born Free USA — Our thanks to Born Free USA for permission to republish this post, which originally appeared on the Born Free USA blog on March 2, 2018. It now claims that trophy hunting benefits conservation “by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.” This opened the door to the issuance of permits for hunters to import elephant trophies from Zimbabwe. Here are seven ways trophy hunting hurts conservation: 1. Several letters also pointed out that more effective conservation funding options already exist. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) flipped its view. The Dickman letter acknowledges that current levels of transparency for trophy hunting leave “considerable room for improvement,” but it also argues that the practice is still important to reduce poverty through sustainable wildlife management, a major element of African countries’ ongoing call for a New Deal for Rural Communities. The hunters glamorize the killing of animals, believing it demonstrates their virility, prowess and dominance. Not true; many hunts target the large, healthy males because their heads make the most “impressive” trophies. Trophy Hunting Remember making Mac-n-Cheese all the time in the summer, well trophy hunting is just like making Mac-n-Cheese, kind of. “There needs to be transparency about where benefits derived from it are going.”. Trophy hunters also promise that profits derived from their hunts support local African communities. Britannica Earth Scientist John Rafferty examines Earth’s current episode of mass extinction. Indeed, research on trophy hunting does show that it can produce substantial financial benefits, is likely to be supported by local communities, and can be associated with conservation … She points out that no single idea is likely to supplant trophy hunting on its own, but adds that having multiple options — not just trophy hunting or photo-tourism — improves the overall chance of success. Potential of trophy hunting to create incentives for wildlife conservation in Africa where alternative wildlife-based land uses may not be viable, Animal Conservation, 9 (3) 283-291. Giraffes, a common animal hunted for trophies. It is hard to believe killing the odd old aggressive rhino is going to genuinely help black rhino wildlife populations. Trophy hunting is by no means a perfect solution, but the IUCN Cat Specialists Group says, “Properly managed trophy hunting was viewed as an important solution to long-term lion conservation.” There will always be some abuse from unscrupulous individuals. I hope that our decision-makers keep their heads about them so that the animals can also keep theirs. Other options include transitioning to resource management by indigenous communities, which has successfully protected natural resources in parts of Ethiopia. Elephant populations are dwindling rapidly, and picking elephants off one by one as a hobby won’t increase their fragile numbers. Joe Rogan and Cameron Hanes discuss the importance of hunting to conservation. Trump; you don’t even have to like the guy. However, several of the other responses questioned how much trophy hunting actually benefits people and communities. What his comments show is that wildlife conservation is a non-partisan issue. “To remain wedded to this one practice that has so many ethical issues around it, without even having a serious conversation about other options, is a problem,” she says. Who are some of the past and present voices in the fight to protect our planet? The past 50 years encompass nearly all of the major milestones in U.S. environmental legislation. “Those who say ‘either trophy hunting or nothing at all’ are struggling from an incredible lack of imagination. “We wanted to get behind some of the visionary non-extractive efforts already happening and show that trophy hunting is not irreplaceable,” she says. … Trophy hunting is an outdated relic of a colonial-era obsession for killing wildlife for sport. And, people can talk all they want about preservation and all of the things that they’re saying, where money goes toward – well, money, in that case, was going to a government which was probably taking the money, okay? Leader-Williams N. Elephant Hunting and Conservation… Trophy Hunting Harms Conservation. The Dickman letter argues that these new options are not “viable alternatives” in most places, especially regions that “are too remote or unappealing to attract sufficient visitors.”. Nonhuman life on Earth is suffering. 24:56. That letter argued that bans actually offer an opportunity for conservation to develop new ideas. But, it doesn’t need to be this way. Use the form below to send us your comments. Help . One of the approaches identified in the letter involves diversifying nature-based tourism beyond wildlife viewing and photography. Learn about global activism that have changed the ways we interact with our precious planet for the better. Richard Thomas of TRAFFIC, a nongovernmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants, also agrees that well-regulated hunting can have positive impacts for some species — for example, the restoration of the southern white rhino — but he stresses that good management and regulation play critical roles. Take this quiz to test your knowledge. Trophy hunting is the stalking and killing of wild animals with guns or bows and arrows with the purpose of obtaining part of the animal as a trophy to represent the success of the hunt. We can all agree – Democrats and Republicans, as well as Independents and, really, all humans – that trophy hunting is a barbaric hobby to kill wild animals, not to conserve them. To the contrary, research suggests that no more than 3% of profits normally trickle down for use in community development, and that trophy hunting usually accounts for less than 2% of a country’s tourism industry revenues. Explore the major threats to biodiversity. “We have to be patient,” she says. An example is a series of bushcraft hunter-gatherer training courses taught in conjunction with the Hadza people in Tanzania. Or do other more effective approaches to funding species protections already exist? France, Australia and The Netherlands have recently banned importing trophies from certain species. Trophy hunting involves the killing of an animal, which decreased the size of its population. In 2014, the Obama administration decided that permits to import the trophies (i.e., heads and other body parts) of lions and elephants killed by hunters in Zimbabwe and Zambia should be disallowed because of a lack of sufficient evidence of a conservation benefit to trophy hunting. Nowak counters that argument, saying it takes time for new systems to proliferate. Animals don’t have political investment, and their protection ought to stand apart from messy politics. 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