Odd as it may sound, American trophy hunters play a critical role in protecting wildlife in Tanzania.
Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) exposed the hypocrisy of four animal rights groups in a new report released today. The report, "Keeping the Lion's Share" counters a "study" issued last week questioning the role of hunters in helping African communities, and calling for African lions to be listed by the U.S. government as an endangered species. The report points to figures that show the millions of dollars contributed by hunters to African communities dwarf the paltry expenditures by the animal rights groups in sub-Saharan Africa.
Experts on the status of the African lion explained to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that the African lion is not on the brink of extinction. Their testimony contradicts the claims in a petition filed by several anti-rights groups asking the service to list the African lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) participated in an exclusive workshop hosted by the FWS. SCI Foundation Conservation Chair Dr. Al Maki outlined current conservation efforts across the lion's range and focused on Tanzania's successful management of the species.
American hunters play a critical role in protecting wildlife. The millions of dollars that hunters spend to go on safari each year help finance the game reserves, wildlife management areas and conservation efforts. Listing lion's will only ensure that funding for their protection is decreased.
The New York Times recently ran an Op-ed piece by Alexander N. Songorwa, who is director of wildlife for the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. In his editorial, "Saving Lions by Killing Them," Songorwa practically begs our country to continue hunting lions in his country" and to be allowed to bring back these trophies.
There's yet another struggle between hunters and anti-hunters, this time on the topic of lion hunting in Africa. We first alerted Realtree readers to the brewhaha last March, which was sparked by a petition by anti-hunting groups to add the African lion to the Endangered Species Act, set in 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 60-day comment period that closed Jan. 28, 2013.
To date, it has received more than 300,000 comments. However, it is likely that most of the comments came as a result of anti-hunting organizations and their campaigns to "get out the vote,"so to say. The USFWS does look at the substance of these comments, but it is pure political pressure when animal rights groups generate so many identical comments. Especially comments based on emotion, rather than science.
They stand on mountains and look down on their subjects in Disney films and appear to laze around in the shade in those National Geographic videos while the females chase down the slowest gazelle on the plains, but guess what? African male lions hunt. They just hunt differently than lionesses do.
Hunting wild animals evokes strong emotions. Some are entirely justified, but tears have a tendency to blur our vision. What might seem cruel sport to some of us is a visceral challenge to others, and the economic incentive hunting creates is critical to the welfare of many animal species.
The preferences of hunting clients highlight the potential for trophy hunting to create incentives for wildlife conservation and community development in Africa, in multiple countries, including those where ecotourism may not be viable, and in areas within well-visited countries that are off the tourist circuit.
Responsible hunters bring in money for conservation efforts.
Marking a breakthrough in lion conservation, scientists can now accurately age African lions with a significant degree of certainty. Researchers with the Zambia Lion Project recently released two scientific publications outlining an innovative method for estimating lion age within six months using teeth.
African lions are one of the most charismatic species on the planet. Images of the King of the Jungle are etched deeply into our collective conscience. The debate on how best to conserve lions has been stirred anew with a recent Twitter post by TV hostess Melissa Bachman who killed a "trophy" lion while on safari in Africa.
Experts on the status of the African lion explained to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that the African lion is not on the brink of extinction. Their testimony contradicts the claims in a petition filed by several anti-rights groups asking the service to list the African lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
African lions. What impressive predators at the top of the food chain. If you experience one up close in the wild, their massive size and vibrating vocals will likely stand the hairs on your neck. If you have seen them and disagree, then imagine being in their proximity once again, but this time standing outside of the land rover. Imagine being helplessly chased by the snarling five-hundred pound wild beast armed with canines that can crush a spine larger than your own and three-inch dewclaws that could disembowel you in a single swipe. To lions, we humans probably appear as nothing more than a mouse does to a housecat.
In Major Setback for Anti-Hunting Efforts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rejected the claim that the African lion merited listing as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.