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Is hunting animals a viable conservation strategy?

+/-When, in January, a Dallas-based hunting organization auctioned off the right to hunt an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia, animal welfare groups and some conservation organizations blasted the scheme. You can’t save a species by killing it, they said. Hunting organizations – joined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – defended the auction, and said the $350,000 it raised will boost conservation efforts in East Africa. So: Is hunting a viable wildlife conservation strategy? Or is it a contradiction in terms? Teresa M. Telecky from Humane Society International and Joe Hosmer of Safari Club International Foundation continue the debate here.

Hunters Value Wildlife

by Joe Hosmer

Joe Hosmer is the president of Safari Club International Foundation, a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting wildlife conservation through sustainable use.

Hunting is vital to the conservation and sustainable management of wildlife populations. Both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species recognize the importance of hunting in conservation and have special provisions in their regulations to ensure hunting continues. Animal rights and welfare activist groups fail to recognize the value of hunting in conservation and even claim hunting is a leading threat to wildlife. In fact, hunting remains a timeless tradition, a livelihood, and a necessity for conservation.

Hunters pioneered sustainable wildlife management through the creation of North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. After early settlers diminished wildlife populations through unregulated harvesting, hunters and anglers assumed responsibility for the management of wildlife and worked to conserve species through harvest limits and the establishment of conservation organizations.

… more …

What do you think: Is there a place for hunting in conservation?

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Vote and Be Counted.

photo of lions resting in a meadowphoto David Berkowitz


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By David A. Hereaux on Wed, June 11, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Joe Hosmer mentions deer populations have grown to 32 million in the USA. Correct, and they are now causing catastrophic damage to the ecosystem and other species by eating everything in their path because hunters have killed off too many apex predators like wolves. It’s been going on for years, google “America deer problem”. It’s Keibab Plateau all over again and the hunters haven’t learnt a thing.

He also talks about the Pittman-Robertson act and the 11% tax. Well actually Mr Hosmer, that is a tax on guns and ammo paid by ANYONE who buys them, it’s nothing to do with hunting. There are over 300 million people in the USA and only 14 million of them are registered hunters according to the last USFWS survey. Do the math.

Finally a couple of questions for Mr Hosmer. Pittman-Robertson was established to raise funds to conserve the environment. Who was destroying it to begin with ? Hunters, that’s who. If hunters were so passionate about conservation, why was Congress forced to establish the tax ? Why didn’t hunters simply contribute voluntarily ?

I have nothing against hunting for food but people travelling thousands of miles to another continent just to shoot an animal is not and never will be conservation.

By Nigel on Mon, June 09, 2014 at 2:53 pm

It is a fact that over hunting is and has been a direct cause of the decline in populations of wildlife in Africa and in most cases has nowhere near recovered. Responsible hunting is very rare and cannot be compared to wildlife hunting and conservation in the USA. One elephant is being poached every 15 minutes with almost 35,000 killed in 2013, and one Rhino every 9-11 hours, that is without mentioning the legal canned hunting of hundreds of Lions. While this type of killing is going on in Africa, there is no place for trophy hunting of these beautiful animals. It is a disgrace that wealthy hunters come to Africa, take advantage of corrupt governments who give hunting permits, all in the name of killing for fun. Very little money ever reaches the communities or helps conservation.

By Paul O on Mon, June 09, 2014 at 8:22 am

That is stupid !  Hunters are killers of wildlife, exincting everything endangered. They are anti-wildlife terrorists. Stop them !!!

By Martha Cantu on Sun, June 08, 2014 at 11:02 pm

The hunting lobby groups that propose the usual propaganda are now being tested and they better get comfortable with the hatred towards them by the rest of the world.  Their days are numbered if they think they can pass off “killing as Conservation”
U.S Hunters keep reciting that hunters outweigh non-hunters by 4 to 1, but they are sadly disillusioned as the entire world is opposed to trophy hunting in numbers that represent 98% of the entire population.
And the other thing, is that “hunters” are normally NOT Trophy Hunters.  Most hunters I know are people that believe in hunting for Food.  Trophy hunters hunt for a specimen on their wall.  They may as well hunt cute and special babies to put on their wall as that is their mentality.

They often say that their hunts go towards feeding the poor in Africa, but what a bunch of bullshxxx.  NOBODY THAT I KNOW OF IN AFRICA EATS LION OR RHINO MEAT.  I have relatives and friends there and NO ONE eats the meat from these so-called ‘HUNTS’ .  Which is another word for trapped killing.

SCI and DSC are crap loser hunting clubs.  Keep them out of Africa and everywhere else.  They are BullXXXX.

By Nikki on Sun, June 08, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Killing for survival is one thing - killing for ‘fun’ is beyond humanity and no person has the right to do it.

By louize mason-styrron on Sun, June 08, 2014 at 2:18 pm

SCI talks the talk.  They preach the gospel of wildlife conservation, but they don’t practice what they preach.  The real issue with SCI is their beloved trophy hunting.  Trophy hunting is a big negative, canned hunting is a 100% negative.  This is nothing more than a license for sociopathic cowards who happen to be rich to go out and satisfy their sick bloodlust.  So SCI, don’t pretend to be anything but a merchant of death, because that’s all you are.

By Tim on Sun, June 08, 2014 at 8:51 am

many if these big game animals will be gone in a decade if current trends continue. We need preservation of wildlife not conservation. Very soon there will be nothing left to conserve.

By Judy Malone on Sun, June 08, 2014 at 8:21 am

Hunters have a long and successful track record of saving and restoring species in the USA, not only the species they hunt but all species from bald eagles to black footed ferrets. Indeed hunting organisations are the only conservation groups that actually do work to protect and preserve species.

By somsai on Thu, June 05, 2014 at 4:08 am

That is absurd. Hunters don’t conserve wildlife, they kill it. They are anti-wildlife terrorists. Hunters are a scourge to our wildlife. If hunters were eradicated, wildlife would be much better off.

By paul on Wed, June 04, 2014 at 2:44 pm

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