Interesting Articles For African Indaba Readers
April 2017, Volume 15-2

The important link between hunting & tourism in Namibia both working for conservation

by Dr Chris Brown, Namibian Chamber of Environment (April 2017)

 I am not a hunter. Nor have I ever been. I am a vegetarian (since the age of about 11), I am part of the environmental NGO sector and I have interests in the tourism industry in Namibia. So, it might surprise you that I am a strong supporter of the hunting industry in Namibia, and indeed, throughout Africa. Having said that, I should qualify my support. I am a strong supporter of legal, ethical hunting of indigenous wildlife within sustainably managed populations, in large open landscapes. The reason is simple. Well-managed hunting is extremely good for conservation. In many areas, it is essential for conservation. There is much confusion and misconception, particularly in the urban industrialized world and thus by most western tourists that visit Namibia, about the role of hunting in conservation. Urban industrialized societies, and I include many biologists and recognized conservation organizations in this grouping, see hunting as undermining conservation, or the anathema of conservation. Read more …

Poaching’s Bloody Human Toll

by Joe Walston, The New York Times (December 2016)

Being a wildlife ranger can be extremely hazardous to your health. Some 110 rangers died in the line of duty worldwide in the year preceding July 31 2016, according to the Thin Green Line Foundation. Nearly a dozen were killed by elephants in Africa and Asia, some trampled to death. One was gored by a spotted deer; two others were killed by rhinos. In India, two rangers were mauled to death by tigers; a bear killed another wildlife officer there. In Zimbabwe, yet another ranger drowned when a hippo attacked his canoe. A land mine killed a Thai officer. Ten died fighting fires. But what is particularly troubling is this: At least 25 were killed by poachers or timber smugglers, most in Africa or Asia. One was shot and pushed off a cliff. Two were axed to death. One died when his helicopter was shot down by poachers. Most of the rest were simply shot. Read more …

Why it’s so important to understand how elephants sleep

by Paul Manger The Conversation (22 March 2017)

Humans and animals need to do several things to pass on their genes: eat, avoid being eaten, reproduce and sleep. Missing any of these biological imperatives leads to death. But when we’re asleep we can’t perform those other functions. One of modern science’s big mysteries, then, is: why do we sleep? Read more ….

The Big Problem With Opposing Legal Rhino Horn Sales

by Ivo Vegter The Daily Maverick (March 2017)

On February 8, 2017, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa gazetted draft regulations that would permit domestic trade in, and limited export of, rhino horn. The outcry was predictable. A representative article is Melanie Verwoerd’s piece: “The big problem with legalizing rhino horn sales”. Although she points out a few issues that are typical of badly drafted law (and can easily be remedied), most of her arguments are stock anti-trade positions. Read more ….

Paradise Is Finite – A Lesson A Long Time In The Learning, And Yet To Be Learnt By Some                       

by Mic Smith The Daily Maverick (March 2017)

The history of rhino conservation is paradoxical. It’s tied to the very English sport of hunting. The conservation of rhino began with white hunters who were shooting them and wanted to protect them so they could continue to shoot them. These trophy hunters included the likes of Percival, Paterson and Prowse who penetrated East Africa in the 1900s. They didn’t want to protect rhinos and game only because they wanted to shoot them, they also respected them in a way that only trophy hunters understand. Read more ….

 World Wildlife Crime Report – Trafficking In Protected Species

by United Nation Office for Drugs and Crime UNODC (2016)

The trafficking of wildlife is increasingly recognized as both a specialized area of organized crime and a significant threat to many plant and animal species. In response to this growing awareness, UNODC has been mandated to build a Global Program on Wildlife and Forest Crime, and research is a key part of this Program. This report represents the first global wildlife crime assessment conducted by UNODC, with the support of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), making use of the global seizure database “World WISE”… All regions of the world play a role as a source, transit, or destination for contraband wildlife, although certain types of wildlife are strongly associated with each region.

The report includes, amongst others, case studies for African elephant ivory, rhino horn. Each case study lends special insights into the ways wildlife trafficking is perpetrated, suggesting the drivers and dynamics of the criminal trade.

Download the full 101 page report HERE

Collected by Gerhard R Damm