Johannesburg - Trophy hunting should be encouraged as a way to protect the dwindling number of African lions facing habitat loss and other threats, says a group of conservationists. ...
The IUCN-World Conservation Union, which organised the meeting, said: "Regulated trophy hunting is not considered a threat, but rather viewed as a way to help alleviate human-lion conflict and generate economic benefits for poor people to build their support for lion conservation."
Tanzania is the top destination for hunters, mostly from the United States and Europe, who pay large sums for the opportunity to shoot a lion, followed by South Africa.
Kenya, however, has banned the practice, which sees hundreds of lions bagged every year.
Trophy hunting can generate funds that could help governments deal with problem animals, according to Kate Nicholls, researcher with the Okavango lion conservation project. ..
Laurence Franck, conservation biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said: "Theoretically, hunting is a fantastic way to preserve very large eco-systems, but the practicalities of getting that money to the little guys who are paying the costs is a huge issue."
Some lions are man-eaters
American expert Craig Packer said it was possible to target older male lions for trophy hunting to minimise the impact on the pride.
"Our ideas of wildlife come from television, magazines. We see these pretty pictures of mother lions with baby cubs, looks all cute and sweet".
"But the reality is that lions in Tanzania alone attack more than 100 people every year, and they kill more than 70 people every year," he said.
Other than habitat loss, lions also are threatened by the disappearance of wild prey and conflicts with humans. ..
Translation: War and drought are hurting wild animals, but the main problem is those human beings who make farms to feed their children...and those people object to lions eating their children...so let's allow professional hunters to kill them instead...
The deer population in Pennsylvania might be a lesson to the "wildlife" people that emphasise this also...
100 plus years ago, there were many farms on marginal land, and no deer...but then industrialization and migration led to many areas going wild again...and the deer were reintroduced...now they are "harvested" and bring revenue to the state, and fun to the rich city folks who come to hunt (and food to the locals who often poach, or hunt deer on private land to supplement income)...