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Lion trophy hunting justified by lies and distortion

An article full of praise for Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s film, “The Last Lions”, the National Geographic programme about how a female lion struggles to save her cubs against all odds can be seen here    I admit I have not seen the film, but apparently there is a conservation message.

Anyway, the article weaves through some doubtful numbers provided by the Jouberts (450,000 fifty years ago, now down to 20,000; 20-30 lions die when a pride male is shot), but then comes up with these quotes from the Safari Club International:

• listing lions as endangered would “effectively end hunting” and its economic benefits to African communities, leading to more human-lion conflict by devaluing the animals.
• “Hunters and hunting actually benefit Africa's lions — as well as its humans. Revenues from hunting generate $200 million annually in remote rural areas of Africa. This revenue gives wildlife value and humans protect the revenue by protecting the wildlife,” said a statement by Larry Rudolph, the group's president, and Joe Hosmer, president of its charitable foundation.

Don’t you just love the kneejerk SCI bleat? “Revenues from hunting generate $200 million annually in remote rural areas of Africa”? Those figures came from a 2004 report by Baldus and Cauldwell as we well know, and half that figure accumulates to South Africa, far from a “remote rural area”. We also know that the “revenue” from hunting is non-existent to rural people, and that was also revealed in the same report. We’ve all heard of selective hearing, seems SCI has perfected selective reading. The only value accumulated from wildlife goes straight to the hunting operators and their cronies in government. See Pieter's blog here

Listing lions as endangered would “effectively end all hunting”? Scare tactics and untruths. Botswana has a thriving hunting industry but lions are removed from the menu. You might as well say that removing sharkfin soup as an item offered patrons of Chinese restaurants would lead to their worldwide closure.

Sorry Larry and Joe, you are just not credible anymore. “Protecting the revenue by protecting wildlife”? Communities are now so disillusioned they are withdrawing from nonsensical wildlife management schemes as they have no voice and no benefit. No wonder poaching is  at all-time high levels and the illusion of hunting as a conservation tool has arrived where it should be under current practice – on the dungheap of disbelief.

Picture credit: Chris Harvey.

Posted by Pieter Kat at 23:41

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