Welcome to Pieter Kat's official LionAid blog. Here you can follow Pieter's opinions, thoughts, insights and ideas on saving lions.
Tuesday 5th March 2013
It must pay for it to stay
The Lion Conservation Task Force (LCTF) describes itself as a Texas based non-profit organisation, dedicated to conserving Africa’s wild lions and habitat.
This is despite considerable information that male lions in natural populations keep reproducing until very late in life – they form new coalitions, shift prides, and keep going. In studies in Botswana, males evicted from a pride by stronger coalitions roamed widely and took over several other prides before they died. There just is not a non-reproductive “huntable male lion”. It has been shown many times in trophy hunter manipulated populations where males are constantly removed that there is little reproduction and considerable disruption to pride structure.
How desperate are the hunters getting to hang on to right to hunt lions? Do they not realise how absurd they sound?
They admit that their “definition” hasn’t met with much enthusiasm amongst the hunting fraternity, in fact only the Dallas Safari Club in the USA has so far adopted their amazing plan, but they say they are working to accomplish “global acceptance”. In fact, Lane Easter recently said on the accuratereloading website “Unfortunately...we still do not have a lot of good to show for ourselves. Tanzania did not make a good showing with the new law and many young dead lions showed up on the internet again”.
It is clear that lions are greatly desired by trophy hunters. At a recent Safari Club International convention, something like $1.3 million was raised in short order “for lions”. It now appears that this slush fund could be used to challenge the US Fish and Wildlife Service in court if they are so bold as to include African lions on their Endangered Species Act – that will prohibit trophy imports among other regulations in trade.
Desired as lions might be, trophy hunting must stop. You cannot continue to advocate a continued offtake of lions given the current freefall decline of the species. You cannot continue to insist that a failed formula will suddenly work again with the same players who created the problems in the first place. You cannot keep insisting that trophy hunters continue to deprive African nations of their wildlife heritage no matter how well they bribe local officials. Despite all claims trophy hunting has NEVER been shown to be a conservation formula for wild populations of any species in Africa.
There are those who will support trophy hunting as there are funds to be derived. They will say that the impact of trophy hunting is unknown, but that is because the hunting concession owners steadfastly refuse independent analysis of their lion populations. They will say that rural Africans can benefit from trophy hunting despite decades of practice that show the income is minimal. They will continue to insist that African nations are provided revenue from trophy hunting despite all indications this is minimal and largely benefits a few elites.
Lion trophy hunting should go extinct before the lions do.
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Posted by Pieter Kat at 19:19
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