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Thread: Good article in NewScientist. Kenya’s lost of wildlife.

  1. #1

    Good article in NewScientist. Kenya’s lost of wildlife.

    There is a good article by Mike Norton-Griffiths in the latest copy of the New scientist magazine about the 60 to 70% decline in large animals in Kenya since “Sport hunting” was banned in 1977.

    The extra revenue from tourism has been concentrated in very small areas, and has not been as great as expected.

    The Kenya Parliament voted to reintroduce sport hunting but was blocked by the President after well funded foreign non-governmental organisations (International Fund for Animal Welfare and The American Humane Society) used mis-leading lobbying and no doubt some finical incentives to influence him.

    I find it encouraging that a pro-hunting article is published in a respected scientific magazine. You can read the full article here………… You will have to pay or going buy the magazine, it is a good read anyway.


  2. #2
    I've seen references to this article, I think, or something similar in other places. Most studies done say that sport hunting actually increases the annual population. The animals are patroled and better cared for because they are more valuable. It also brings money into an impoverished country.

    I'll see if I can remember where I saw that information and post the link here.


  3. #3

    This is the link

    Knew I'd seen this somewhere. This is the link I mentioned. It's quite interesting.


  4. #4
    Some of you may know that I am the Curator of a large private big game museum, with over 6000 specimens collected between 1896 and 1939.

    We have helped in a great many DNA projects over the last 20 years, mostly centered around African big game. There are many different types of issues involving the management of wild areas and the natural game in Africa. Gunslinger girl is right in her comment about sport hunting.
    In most tribal areas it encourages the local people to care for their game, they also see revenue from the game, and employment in the safari camps, plus they get a great deal of the meat. Most of the bigger issues are centered around heavily populated areas, and Kenya is no exception.
    Lake Nakuru is a big problem at the moment as the local villages near the reserve are polluting the lake and the flamingoes are dying in their thousands.
    Ngorongoro had a big problem some time ago with its Lion population, being partly fenced their was too much inbreeding, and due to locals bringing in their mangy dogs, the Lions caught Sarcopitic Mange and dropped like flies.

    One could go on painting a rather dreary picture, but it is true to say that if there is no Monetry value given to the wildlife of Africa, partly through sport hunting, it will not see another 50 years.

    Having said that, we have been involved with many wonderful projects, including the Giant Sable from Angola, The Quagga project, Climatic change in Tragelaphines (spiral horn antelopes, kudu, Bongo, Bushbuck etc), in breeding amongst Hartebeest species, Abyssinian Wolf distribution in Ethiopia, to name but a few.

    One of the most exciting projects is the Giant Sable. There is a viable population still in Angola after the long civil war, and work is now under way to protect and conserve the magnificent animal, and we have been involved with this programme, having given 6 DNA samples from the collection, which dates back to 1921.

    Africa, if you get the chance go, she will bite you in the heart, and you will return.

  5. #5
    This is an argument that it is surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) difficult to get across.

    Hunters of course never want to exterminate any of their quarry species and properly managed populations bring economic benefit to the areas that are hunted.

    In Africa this is particularly important as it makes poaching less economically rewarding than conservation and given that it is usually only old males that are targetted by paying hunters there is absolutely no threat to the population as a whole. These animals almost never die a natural death, as long as there are predators in the food chain, and to get some revenue and legal meat into the local diet for allowing someone to shoot them is completely without good reason for criticism.

    Where you have to be careful is if the incentives for allowing hunting and gaining revenue start to encourage the taking of animals that should be left in the population for a while longer. A proper balance is the key and that is where most projects will go wrong.

    Having said that, there is no way that wild life in Africa (or anywhere else where the human population is increasing) will survive in the longer term unless there is an economic value placed upon it for hunting or phototourism or both and this value has to be higher than the value of the land without the wild animals.

    For the vast majority of Europe and North America wild life is pretty well managed on the whole for the benefit of the animal and its amenity value and the population controlled (Europe) or harvested (USA) to the benefit of all and Africa and Asia need to get to this situation even if it does take a little of the "wilderness" aspect away.

  6. #6
    I think, roughly there is 40% more game in South Africa now than there was in 1900.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by john.d.m
    I think, roughly there is 40% more game in South Africa now than there was in 1900.
    Pretty much proves the point.

  8. #8
    Having just returned from South Africa I would like to echo the many contributors. While on a visit to a cheetah reserve, the very pleasant ranger ask the tour group if anybody hunted. I mentioned that I did expecting to get a little bit of stick for wishing to remove some of the local wildlife. I got some serious glares from some of the group (disneyfied individuals no doubt) only to be congradulated by the ranger on contributing to the conservation effort in SA. I had to point out that I had never shot in Africa and I am only just begin to learn my trade in the UK. The comment was straight forward come to South Africa and enjoy shooting it is one if not the best way to forward conservation of species. The look on the faces of my earst while dissapprovers was priceless. A quick explanation by the ranger to them of the benefits of hunting didnt do much. Well you cant talk to these people. It is shame that Kenya has decided not to re-introduce sport hunting something that would of generated much needed income. Typical of NGO's perhaps when all of Africa is devoid of wildlfie except the areas where hunting is allowed perhaps it might enter their very dense skulls that it is the best method of conservation as so many legitimate scientific studies are showing.

  9. #9
    You'd think more countries would see the sense of managed hunting. Where will the animals, and the land for that matter, be looked after more carefully? I'm betting it would be a place where some of the animals can be hunted, which in turn brings money into the country.

    You can't care for the land or the animals if you haven't the money to pay for things.


  10. #10


    The problem is (in my half baked opinion) not one of conservation but of that old "class war" chestnut. The opposers don't care about the animals they just have visions of rich people in pith helmets and thats what they don't like.

    we ought to try harder to sell our selves through the media by using tame producers and not "posh" people. we have missed the "spin" boat. maybe we could sign Alistair Campbell up?


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