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July 2019 – Volume 1-3

Conservation First

This editorial highlights the “trial by ordeal” that hunting is now being subjected to and asks some questions of those who engineer global anti-hunting campaigns. What will happen to biodiversity and rural communities if hunting is consigned to the dustbin of history? The hunting community also faces stark choices. Hunters not conforming to long-term sustainability objectives—those who do not put conservation first, and who fail to convey a convincing message—will self-destruct. Malan Lindeque and Rosalia Iileka suggest solutions.READ MORE

Propaganda in the Trophy Hunting Debate – Card-Stacking, Cherry-Picking, Name-Calling & KISS

Keith Somerville examines a lengthy and ostensibly scientific, but unattributed pamphlet called ‘Trophy Hunting & Conservation”. It was distributed at a discussion with UK Environment Minister Michael Gove and attacks the proposition that regulated, fee-paid hunting can benefit conservation and rural communities. The pamphlet’s authors twist statements; take data out of context, and cite broad, factual-sounding ‘evidence’ that is unsupportable or false. Somerville concludes that this is a prime example of anti-hunting propaganda meant to stir emotions and influence opinions on the complex issues of conservation.READ MORE

Changing Public Perceptions of Hunting Around the World

Hunters in Colorado and Michigan, and the Wildlife Councils in the two states, teamed up with the Nimrod Society to develop successful pro-hunting public relation programs. Compelling messages and arguments on shared values resonated best with nonhunters. This initiative provides a model for hunters throughout the world to successfully encourage a positive view of hunting in public opinion.READ MORE

APHA’s President Weighs in on Hunting and Conservation in Africa

APHA President Jason Roussos stipulates that successful conservation efforts must not be judged by the fate of individual animals but by the species’ overall population trends. Trophy hunting should be assessed in the light of demonstrable results on wildlife populations. Roussos criticizes lobby groups and governments from developed nations for making decisions that restrict what Africans can and cannot do with their wildlife. He urges that the debate look past emotions and focus on best practices and conservation outcomes.READ MORE

Are There Species We Shouldn’t Hunt?

Paul McCarney’s personal exploration of this controversial question is an examination of utilitarian and technical issues, individual moral decision-making, and the emotional element to hunting. His conclusions may not sit well with all readers, but it is worthwhile to explore the gut feelings that might sometimes give us an aversion to pursuing certain species. Even if we are rationally uncomfortable with these feelings.READ MORE

Hunt It To Save It – Many think species protection requires the ending of hunting and protection by the government. Neither are true.

Many think species protection requires the ending of hunting and protection by the government. Neither are true, says Tom McIntyre. The complex situation around the sage grouse provides the frame of the article, but McIntyre spans the storyline from the tigers of Imperial India, to the elephants of Botswana, to the wolves and grizzlies of the western United States.READ MORE

Challenging Mainstream Stereotypes of Hunting – The ‘Left Coast’ of the United States has many stereotypes, but we can set the hunting one straight.

Misconceptions about hunting – both deserved and undeserved – lead to misunderstandings and stereotypes. Jennifer Wapenski explores a different perspective to the traditional hunting narrative. She shows a logical path toward encouraging outdoor recreationists and sustainable food enthusiasts to investigate new viewpoints thereby reaching an entirely new population of future hunters.  READ MORE

The Yellowstone Bison Range War – As the Old West collides with the New, America’s icon, the bison, is caught in the middle

The American bison’s near-miraculous revival sprang from handfuls of animals in ranches, zoos and national parks. Yellowstone National Park today holds several thousand bison, but neighboring states do not allow them entry for fear of spreading disease to domestic cattle. In response, excess bison are slaughtered—a practice that is being called the “second persecution of the American bison.” Allowing bison to repopulate the West is a complex and challenging issue that involves many stakeholders. African nations such as Botswana and Namibia can show the US how to accomplish this.READ MORE

A Case for Legal Ivory Trade – ‘Ban all ivory trade, and no more deaths of these intelligent peaceful creatures due to poaching!’

Public opinion has been conditioned by campaigns from organizations more interested in animal rights and welfare than in wildlife conservation to believe that legal ivory trade threatens elephants. The global media have supported this message. Ivory trade bans have, in fact, failed to protect elephants and in reality, threaten them more than legal trade does. Daniel Stiles explains why.READ MORE

Book Review: The Last Elephants

Acknowledged African wildlife experts John Hanks and John Ledger take a critical look at Don Pinnock and Colin Bell’s The Last Elephants. Hanks concludes with “enjoy the book for its great photographs, but please read the text critically and with an open mind for alternative options”; Ledger writes “it is time for a different approach, and hiding one of Africa’s conservation success stories is not a very convincing way to win a spitting contest.”READ MORE

Trophy Hunting in the Greater Kruger Area – Can it serve broader conservation priorities?

Trophy hunting in the open system of the Greater Kruger Area is contentious and controversial, if one were to believe social media.  Yet, the wildlife economy—which includes hunting, game ranching and wildlife tourism—has the potential to re-shape South Africa’s approach to rural development and land reform. An integrated conservation approach must drive rural economic development—wildlife tourism and hunting are important parts. Greg Martindale explains why.READ MORE

New Partnership To Protect Underdog Species From Direct Threats – Four leading NGOs have joined forces through Restore Species to tackle illegal and unsustainable hunting & trade as well as poisoning of animal species worldwide.

Extinctions can be prevented when we have the right commitment. Restore Species—a cooperation between BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fauna & Flora International and TRAFFIC—holds enormous, innovative potential with each of the four partners committing their extensive network of experts, community contacts and vast experience to long-term, strategic collaboration. Cressida Stevens gives details.READ MORE

Book Review: End Of The Megafauna: The Fate Of The World’s Hugest, Fiercest, And Strangest Animals

Silvio Calabi reviews Ross D.E. MacPhee’s book End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals. For all its intellectual rigor and occasionally academic language, MacPhee’s book was written for lay people. The last chapter shows how the fossils of giant bears, mammoths and saber-toothed cats could point to astonishing future developments.READ MORE