Botswana Has An Elephant Poaching Problem, Not An Overpopulation Problem

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Botswana Has An Elephant Poaching Problem, Not An Overpopulation Problem

The Botswana government recently reintroduced trophy hunting after a five-year moratorium. It did so on the pretext that Botswana has “too many elephants”.

But a new academic paper shows that this argument doesn’t hold.

The researchers compared the results of two aerial surveys in northern Botswana. The first was conducted in 2014, the second in 2018. Both were conducted during the dry season. This allowed for easy detection of changes over time.

A 94,000km2 area was studied and the elephant population estimated at 122,700 in 2018. This was roughly similar to the 2014 numbers.

But comparing results from the 2014 and 2018 aerial surveys, the scientists found that the numbers of elephant carcasses have increased, especially for newer carcasses dead for less than roughly 1 year. Populations can remain stable despite increased carcass counts because of new births and immigration from other range states.

The Botswana government recently reintroduced trophy hunting after a five-year moratorium. It did so on the pretext that Botswana has “too many elephants”.

But a new academic paper shows that this argument doesn’t hold.

The researchers compared the results of two aerial surveys in northern Botswana. The first was conducted in 2014, the second in 2018. Both were conducted during the dry season. This allowed for easy detection of changes over time.

A 94,000km2 area was studied and the elephant population estimated at 122,700 in 2018. This was roughly similar to the 2014 numbers.

But comparing results from the 2014 and 2018 aerial surveys, the scientists found that the numbers of elephant carcasses have increased, especially for newer carcasses dead for less than roughly 1 year. Populations can remain stable despite increased carcass counts because of new births and immigration from other range states.

Elephants Reduced to a Political Football as Botswana Brings Back Hunting

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Elephants Reduced to a Political Football as Botswana Brings Back Hunting

Botswana has reinstated trophy hunting after a 5-year moratorium on the practice.

In the wake of evidently declining wildlife numbers, former president Ian Khama imposed the ban in early 2014. Elephant numbers had plummeted by 15% in the preceding decade. The hunting industry had been granted a total quota of between 420 and 800 elephants a year during that time. Evidence of abuse was prolific and communities were not benefiting from the fees that hunters were paying.

Over the past five years Botswana has earned a reputation as the continent’s last elephant haven. It harbours just over a third of Africa’s remaining savanna elephants.

Khama’s successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has been in the job for just over a year. He’s promoted a conservation doctrine that is diametrically opposed to Khama’s.

Masisi recently hosted a conference in Kasane that brought together heads of state and environment ministers from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Its pretext was to formulate a common vision for managing southern Africa’s elephants under the banner of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). But the conference was used to drum up support for Botswana’s intended reversion to elephant hunting.

Eastern & Oriental Express Becomes 'Tiger Express' In Bangkok To Singapore Trip For Tigers

Eastern & Oriental Express Becomes 'Tiger Express' In Bangkok To Singapore Trip For Tigers

Called the ‘Tiger Express’, the excursion has teamed up with the global tiger conservation charity initiative, ‘Save Wild Tigers, to “raise awareness about the plight of the world’s last remaining wild tigers, writes Friday’s The South China Morning Post.

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Are CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS Made In USA Rifles The Top Gun Used To Poach Big Game In Africa?

Kathi Lee Austin of  ConflictAwareness.org

Kathi Lee Austin of ConflictAwareness.org

Are CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS Made In USA Rifles The Top Gun Used To Poach Big Game In Africa?

Now that all the holiday food is settling into our fat cells for a long winter's nap, and Trump has pissed all over our country in the worst Christmas Day message I've ever heard, let me begin by saying that I did not just like the FB page for “CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS,” rifles, thinking that my closest friends might have a total meltdown.

If I liked the company, them this post would tag their wall, but then I would be bringing down a hornet's nest of gun lovers on my wall, and -- in retrospect -- I don't really want to do that. Elephant killer Donald Trump Jr -- or just 'Junior' as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls him -- would probably show up in person to give us all a big lecture on the thrill of killing wild beasts. Speaking of wild beasts, his father is absolutely behaving like one. Sorry, I digress.

However, this New York Times article How Did Rifles With an American Stamp End Up in the Hands of African Poachers? hit me between the eyes this morning, and they were barely open. NOTHING IS DEFINITE YET, and of course, the gun manufacturer 'CZ-USA' denies, denies, denies that they have anything to do with the reality that their rifles -- not the ones manufactured by their parent company in the Czech Republic -- are being investigated as being the #1 rifle poachers are using to kill the elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers -- you name it -- in Africa.

Like somehow “CZ-USA, Kansas City, KS,” got carved into the metal. It's a branding mistake. You know . . . like Trump makes major branding mistakes every day. This is just all about bad marketing.

While this is not a girl's only investigation, one lady in particular is in the lead: Kathi Lynn Austin.

Prince William Shows Conservation Still Has A Problem With ‘White Saviours’

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Prince William Shows Conservation Still Has A Problem With ‘White Saviours’

By Hannah Mumby, Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge ; originally published on The Conversation Africa

Prince William recently spoke at one of the largest illegal wildlife summits ever held in London. He said, “Poaching is an economic crime against ordinary people and their futures.”

The quote could have been better. Poachers, after all, are merely the corner boys of the global illegal wildlife trade, the ones who benefit least financially and risk most, usually their lives. They’re ordinary people too, and vilifying them is not getting to the heart of the issue.

William had travelled to Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia in September and October this year, to learn about conservation, and a video of his trip to Tanzania was presented to the attendees. It did not go down well with various NGOs and campaigners who accused the video of promoting a “white saviour” image, given that only one African, a student, spoke to the camera, while the rest of the interviewees were international participants.

Last Chance For Animals (LCA) Will Honor Prince Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park

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International nonprofit Last Chance for Animals (LCA) will honor Prince Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Anthony Caere, Head of Virunga's Air Wing. The two men will both receive the prestigious "Albert Schweitzer Award" at its annual gala on Saturday, October 22, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. 

This year, LCA's fundraising gala will be centered on the plight of Africa's Virunga National Park and its critically endangered mountain gorilla population.

Emmanuel de Merode, who is married to Kenyan paleontologist Louise Leakey, the granddaughter of  Louis Leakey, was shot by gunmen near Goma in April 2014.

Louise Leakey is the head of the Koobi Fora Research Project in Kenya's Turkana basin and is an assistant professor of anthropology at Long Island's Stony Brook University.