Abstracts Of Recently Published Wildlife Papers
June 2015, Volume 13-3


South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association SAHGCA Selective Breeding Policy

The largest South African hunting association affirms its responsibility of protecting the long-term interests of its members in terms of their ability to participate in fair-chase hunting of representative indigenous species, specifically concerning the conservation of the genetic diversity and integrity of huntable species and the preservation of extensive wildlife systems, essential to fair-chase hunting. SAHGC is concerned that exploitation and deliberate selective breeding for specific traits in indigenous wild animals, if uncontrolled, may have detrimental effects and unwanted consequences on our biodiversity heritage and the biodiversity economy. The organization opposes artificial and unnatural manipulation of wildlife to enhance or alter species’ genetic and phenotypic characteristics (e.g. coat color, body size or horn size) in particular through intentional cross-breeding of species, subspecies or evolutionary significant local phenotypes and or the use of domestic livestock breeding methods such as, but not limited to, line breeding, germplasm and semen production or trading, artificial insemination, embryo transfer, castration, growth hormone treatments, controlled or unnatural breeding programs and cloning; and the intentional breeding of indigenous wild animals in intensive- or highly altered semi-intensive production systems for purely commercial purposes. With the above link interested readers, who have followed the debate on this subject in African Indaba, can download a number of highly significant documents, including E. J. Nel’s paper RISKS AND IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH INTENSIVE AND SELECTIVE BREEDING OF INDIGENOUS GAME FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.


Chansa Chomba, Chimbola Obias, Vincent Nyirenda Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 571-581. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oje.2014.49047

The ten provinces of Zambia were surveyed to determine number and size of game ranches situated in these areas up to the end of 2012/early 2013. Three classes of game ranches were developed as; 1) ≥500 hectares as game ranch proper, 2) ≥50 – <500 hectares as game farm, and 3) <50 hectares as ornamental. A total of 200 game ranches keeping large mammals from the size of common duiker to eland were recorded with a growth rate of 6 per year for the period 1980-2012. The largest number was ornamental 98 (49%); large game ranches were 75 (38%) and the least was game farms 27 (14%). Thirty seven species of large mammals were recorded, of which, 15 were the most abundant with impala topping the list with 21,000 individuals (34%). It was found that of the ten provinces, Luapula, Western and Northern Provinces despite being largely rural with low population densities except for Luapula did not have any game ranch. The province with the largest number was Lusaka 71(36%), Southern 59 (30%), Central 31(16%), Copperbelt 19 (10%), Eastern and Northwestern 9 (4.5% each) and Muchinga was the least with 2 (1%). The rapid increase in the number of ornamental category is mainly attributed to the rise in the development of tourist accommodation facilities and high cost residential properties. This growth provides an opportunity to convert to game ranching schemes abandoned farmlands which are not currently useful to agriculture due to loss of fertility and other forms of land degradation. Similarly, parcels of land with natural ecological limitations should also be considered for such schemes. Rehabilitation of degraded land through ranching could also enhance carbon sequestration, a factor critical in minimizing carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.


Paula A. White, Jerrold L. Belant (Download the complete paper at Plos One)

Sport hunting has reportedly multiple benefits to economies and local communities; however, few of these benefits have been quantified. As part of their lease agreements with the Zambia Wildlife Authority, sport hunting operators in Zambia are required to provide annually to local communities free of charge i.e., provision a percentage of the meat obtained through sport hunting. We characterized provisioning of game meat to rural communities by the sport hunting industry in Zambia for three game management areas (GMAs) during 2004–2011. Rural communities located within GMAs where sport hunting occurred received on average > 6,000 kg per GMA of fresh game meat annually from hunting operators. To assess hunting industry compliance, we also compared the amount of meat expected as per the lease agreements versus observed amounts of meat provisioned from three GMAs during 2007–2009. In seven of eight annual comparisons of these GMAs, provisioning of meat exceeded what was required in the lease agreements. Provisioning occurred throughout the hunting season and peaked during the end of the dry season (September–October) coincident with when rural Zambians are most likely to encounter food shortages. We extrapolated our results across all GMAs and estimated 129,771 kg of fresh game meat provisioned annually by the sport hunting industry to rural communities in Zambia at an approximate value for the meat alone of >US$600,000 exclusive of distribution costs. During the hunting moratorium (2013–2014), this supply of meat has halted, likely adversely affecting rural communities previously reliant on this food source. Proposed alternatives to sport hunting should consider protein provisioning in addition to other benefits (e.g., employment, community pledges, anti-poaching funds) that rural Zambian communities receive from the sport hunting industry.


Nels Paulson, University of Wisconsin-Stout (Download the complete paper at Conservation and Society)

Hunters consider themselves conservationists, but they also think of themselves as hunters first. Some environmentalists perceive this as a paradox. This hunting-conservation paradox is typically reconciled in very similar ways across the hunting world, and for many they do so through associational life. Specifically, the sustainable hunting model of governance is promoted by hunters; proponents argue that revenue from hunting increases the funding, and therefore efficacy, of conservation efforts at various scales. While conservation worldwide has benefitted tremendously by this governance, there have been variations in the levels of success of different expected social and economic outcomes. Such variation could be explored through greater incorporation of sustainable hunting in global conservation dialogue, while simultaneously broadening conservation advocacy worldwide. However, this does not typically occur due to low levels of trust, stemming from divides in values and styles of reasoning among various environmentalists and hunting advocates. This paper provides insight into such limitations and, hopefully, informs and encourages further dialogue to improve sustainable hunting governance worldwide and expand the breadth of global conservation advocacy


Anke Fischer (corr. author: anke.fischer@hutton.ac.uk), Yitbarek Tibebe Weldesemaet, Mikołaj Czajkowski, Degu Tadie and Nick Hanley. Conserv. Biol. 2015 Mar 3. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12467

In the face of fundamental land-use changes, the potential for trophy hunting to contribute to conservation is increasingly recognized. Trophy hunting can, for example, provide economic incentives to protect wildlife populations and their habitat, but empirical studies on these relationships are few and tend to focus on the effects of benefit-sharing schemes from an ex post perspective. We investigated the conditions under which trophy hunting could facilitate wildlife conservation in Ethiopia ex ante. We used a choice experiment approach to survey international trophy hunters’ (n = 224) preferences for trips to Ethiopia, here operationalized as trade-offs between different attributes of a hunting package, as expressed through choices with an associated willingness to pay. Participants expressed strong preferences and, consequently, were willing to pay substantial premiums for hunting trips to areas with abundant non-target wildlife where domestic livestock was absent and for arrangements that offered benefit sharing with local communities. For example, within the range of percentages considered in the survey, respondents were on average willing to pay an additional $3900 for every 10 percentage points of the revenue being given to local communities. By contrast, respondents were less supportive of hunting revenue being retained by governmental bodies: Willingness to pay decreased by $1900 for every 10 percentage points of the revenue given to government. Hunters’ preferences for such attributes of hunting trips differed depending on the degree to which they declared an interest in Ethiopian culture, nature conservation, or believed Ethiopia to be politically unstable. Overall, respondents thus expressly valued the outcomes of nature conservation activities—the presence of wildlife in hunting areas—and they were willing to pay for them. Our findings highlight the usefulness of insights from choice modeling for the design of wildlife management and conservation policies and suggest that trophy hunting in Ethiopia could generate substantially more financial support for conservation and be more in line with conservation objectives than is currently the case.


Diana S. Webera, Tait Mandlerb, Markus Dyckc, Peter J. Van Coeverden De Groot, David S. Lee, Douglas A. Clark Elsevier open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

CITES regulates international trade with the goal of preventing over-exploitation, thus the survival of species are not jeopardized from trade practices; however it has been used recently in nontrade conservation measures. As an example, the US proposed to uplist polar bears under CITES Appendix I, despite that the species did not conform to the biological criteria. Polar bears were listed as ‘threatened’ under US ESA in 2008, in response to loss of sea-ice and warming temperatures. In Nunavut, where most of Canada’s polar bears are harvested, the resulting trade ban did not decrease total harvest after the ESA listing but reduced US hunter participation and the proportion of quotas taken by sport hunters from specific populations. Consequently, the import ban impacted livelihoods of Arctic indigenous communities with negative conservation — reduced tolerance for dangerous fauna and affected local participation in shared management initiatives. The polar bear may be the exemplar of an emerging problem: the use of trade bans in place of action for non-trade threats, e.g., climate change. Conservation prospects for this species and other climate-sensitive wildlife will likely diminish if the increasing use of trade bans to combat non-trade issues cause stakeholders to lose faith in participatory management.


Moses Titus Kyando

Master’s thesis in Natural Resources Management Program, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology.

Elephant poaching is a significant problem in Tanzania and many parts of Africa. This study assess the patterns of elephant poaching for the international ivory trade on the population of the Eastern Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Data for assessing the patterns of elephants poaching from 2009 to 2013 were acquired by doing inventory on the demography of poached skulls in the field and assessing confiscated tusks. This is to infer the age and sex of killed elephants; also the season of death were obtained during the field assessment. By combining inferences of age and sex, poaching patterns of African elephants were assessed. Data on the distribution of poached elephants and the effect of poaching on the trophy-quality from tourist hunting were obtained from elephant mortality database of the Selous Game Reserve in the Eastern and North-eastern sectors. The GPS coordinates to determine the distribution of poached elephants were randomly collected by rangers during their daily patrol routine. The poaching patterns in the ESGR were non-selective. The incidences of poaching were higher during the wet season. Hotspots of poaching were identified on the edges of the ESGR. This was attributed by the involvement of local people adjacent the ESGR in poaching activities due to lack of economic opportunities. The patterns of elephant poaching can help to study the impact of poaching on Selous Game Reserve elephant populations. Also, hotspots poaching serve as tool to guide and inform reserve managers involved in wildlife conservation in Tanzania. Improved economic opportunities of local people; enhanced conservation education and research; and improved governance and law enforcement recommended addressing the problem of elephant poaching.

Compiled by Gerhard R Damm