Thursday, December 08, 2005

Big Game Hunting in Africa

I was browsing Google images for a picture of a sable (the NY Times article about the looming extinction crisis in Mongolia mentions that marmot fur is often used in sable coats. Since I didn't even know that 'sable' was a species of animal, I wanted to see what they look like. They're kinda ugly) and I stumbled across this African hunting safari website.

Apart from the fact that this is a bunch of rednecks (along with their wives and children - wonderful) smiling smugly after shooting animals with arrows, is this even legal? I'm curious about the hunting of elephants and cheetahs, both of which are listed as vulnerable according to the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Is this sort of activity not covered by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)?
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Update: A conservation biologist wrote the following to me by email:
Hunting safaris like this one are becoming more and more common. In fact, trophy hunting is actually being considered by many biologists as a legitimate conservation strategy. Once studies are conducted to determine population viability statistics, ecologists can provide local hunting agencies with sustainable harvest quotas. It's quite the fundraising technique, and adds tremendous value to otherwise worthless "vermin" (at least in the eyes of Africans). If you can poision a lion so it doesn't kill your cows or have some rich American redneck pay $30,000 to kill it for you, which would you choose? As long as the limits are properly enforced (always a problem in Africa), this could actuallly work.

Anyway, that's my best explanation of the carnage you have witnessed.

Interesting explanation. I never would've suspected that the sanctioned killing of vulnerable species was a viable conservation strategy.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hunting is retarded. WHy kill a creature? Life is precious. You people need to realize that. And sables are adorable little catfoxweaselotterthings!

Fri Oct 31, 06:11:00 PM EDT  

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