Letters

Trophy hunting bans imperil biodiversity

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Science  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6456, pp. 874
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz0735

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  • Trophy Hunting Needs an African-Centred, Solution-Based Discussion
    • Thomas Cherico Wanger, Senior Researcher, Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Germany & Sustainability, Agriculture, & Technology Laboratory, Westlake University, China
    • Other Contributors:
      • Teja Tscharntke, Professor, Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Germany
      • Kenneth Uiseb, Deputy Director of Wildlife, Research, and Monitoring, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia
      • Lochran William Traill, Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom & University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

    The recent letter by Dickman et al. [1] discusses biodiversity impairment of bans on trophy hunting imports. The authors summarize the benefits of trophy hunting in Africa, such as land protection for large mammal populations and monetary income for rural communities [2]. Inevitably, this letter will re-spark the debate between advocates and opponents of trophy hunting in Africa and the resulting conservation outcomes. Therefore, instead of ending their letter stating that hunting is repugnant for some, while science is requested by others, we argue that it is more constructive to point towards practical solutions and raise the standards of trophy hunting practices.

    Certification of the African trophy hunting industry may be such a solution to facilitate sustainable and ethical hunting practices. In a nutshell, integrating effective compliance and wildlife monitoring, participatory management, and a landscape approach for sustainable conservation into a certification scheme may help to achieve important conservation and community-development objectives [3]. The recent IUCN ‘Guidelines for the Conservation of Lions in Africa’ also advocate certification of hunters as a solution-oriented way forward [4]. Lessons learned from established certification schemes of tropical agroforestry crops such as cocoa and coffee suggest that stakeholder acceptance and communication between them is key [5].

    The international hunting community demands sustainable hunting practi...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Trophy Hunting Needs an African-Centred, Solution-Oriented Discussion
    • Thomas Cherico Wanger, Senior Researcher, Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Germany & Sustainability, Agriculture & Technology Laboratory, Westlake University, China
    • Other Contributors:
      • Teja Tscharntke, Professor, Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Germany
      • Lochran William Traill, Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom & University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

    The recent letter by Dickman et al. [1] discusses biodiversity impairment of bans on trophy hunting imports. The authors summarize the benefits of trophy hunting in Africa, such as land protection for large mammal populations and monetary income for rural communities [2]. Inevitably, this letter will re-spark the debate between advocates and opponents of trophy hunting in Africa and the resulting conservation outcomes. Therefore, instead of ending their letter stating that hunting is repugnant for some, while science is requested by others, we argue that it is more constructive to point towards practical solutions and raise the standards of trophy hunting practices.

    Certification of the African trophy hunting industry may be such a solution to facilitate sustainable and ethical hunting practices. In a nutshell, integrating effective compliance and wildlife monitoring, participatory management, and a landscape approach for sustainable conservation into a certification scheme may help to achieve important conservation and community-development objectives [3]. The recent IUCN ‘Guidelines for the Conservation of Lions in Africa’ also advocate certification of hunters as a solution-oriented way forward [4]. Lessons learned from established certification schemes of tropical agroforestry crops such as cocoa and coffee suggest that stakeholder acceptance and communication between them is key [5].

    The international hunting community demands sustainable hunting practi...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Wallace Kaufman

    Wallace,

    I'd imagine that photography isn't a good substitute for trophy hunting, because you simply don't have photographers paying $400,000 fees for the privilege to take a picture of an animal.

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Trophy Hunting

    One has to ask if trophy hunting and shooting with a camera is not an adequate substitute for trophy hunting with a gun. The only difference is the prize is not killed but remains alive to attract even more hunters (photo hunters).

    Understood that this does not address the issue of culling overpopulations if that becomes necessary. But neither does trophy gun hunting. Since we have many more photographers interested in trophy hunting than gun hunters, since it may even take more skill and courage, since it also requires the assistance of locals--why isn't it a good substitute for killing prize specimens that may also be key animals in a family or group?

    Competing Interests: None declared.