Endangered vs. Conserved Species

Recently, a Texas teenager made headlines with photos of her hunting expeditions. Below the White Rhino is said to be “rare.” But is this the reality? For instance, the WWF mentions the numbers now compared to their near extinction:

✦ The majority (98.8%) of white rhinos occur in just four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. Northern white rhinos and southern white rhinos are genetically distinct subspecies and are found in two different regions in Africa. Southern white rhinos were thought to be extinct in the late 19th century, but in 1895 a small population of less than 100 individuals was discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. After more than a century of protection and management, they are now classified as Near Threatened and about 20,000 animals exist in protected areas and private game reserves. They are the only rhinos that are not endangered.

In other words, if it weren’t for these hunting reserves and their great capability of protecting endangered species, the White Rhino would be — I repeat — would be most likely extinct.

But this didn’t stop former porn star who lived with Charlie Sheen saying hunter Kendall Jones lacks morals. however, as usual, the left does not understand how supply and demand can properly conserve something that altruism never can. More from the Mail Online:

…’Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these,’ Jones writes. ‘Funds from a hunt like this goes partially to the government for permits but also to the farm owner as an incentive to keep and raise lions on their property.’

Jones’s photos show her posing with bagged zebras, hugging a dead leopard, and smiling beside elephants she’s killed.

One particular photo, in which she’s posing alongside a an extremely endangered rhinoceros, has her critics especially steaming, but the Texas Tech cheerleader says it was alive and well.

‘The vet drew blood, took DNA samples, took body and head measurements, treated a leg injury and administered antibiotics. I felt very lucky to be part of such a great program and procedure that helps the White Rhino population through conservation,’ she wrote….

Technology Tell tells us more about the sitch:

…Since posting photos posing with her game, Jones’ has come under attack. People are under the impression Jones is a giant A-hole who just flies to Africa and starts poaching animals for no good reasons other than because she thinks it’s awesome. This is not the case.

On her page, Jones writes:

Ok I’m gonna explain for the 53567544th time. The rhino was a green hunt, meaning it was darted and immobilized in order to draw blood for testing, DNA profiling, microchip ping the horn and treating a massive leg injury most likely caused by lions. People try to say that lions will not attack a hippo, rhino or elephant, quiet the contrary. Lions attack and kill the young of these species. The adults try to fight the lions off and are regularly successful, but do get injuries in the process. As for the lion that I shot with my bow, it was within a 45,000 acre fence with other lions and plains game. It’s in S Africa, so yes it was within a fence, but 45,000 acres is the equivalent to 70 square miles and considered fair chase. Lions that have come in and taken over a pride, not only kick the older lion out, but will also kill all of his cubs so that the lioness will come into heat again. Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these in order to make sure the cubs have a high survival rate.

She goes on to explain the fencing situation and the purpose for the raising of lions within the fence, then continues:

Now to the leopard, this was a free ranging leopard in Zimbabwe on communal land. The money for the permit goes to the communal council and to their village people. Within this area of approximately 250,000 acres, 107 head of cattle was killed in a single year due to leopard kills. Leopard populations have to be controlled in certain areas.

For the lazy readers, I’ll summarize. Kendall handsomely paid the government and the farmers for the hunt, fed the community with the game, didn’t even kill some of the game during the “green hunt” (and actually helped injured animals), and she provided necessary, ordained population trimming to the local conservation efforts….

In another informative article, American Hunter notes well that capitalism and hunting equal growth in endangered animal populations:

…Zimbabwe was down below 30,000 elephants in 1989, but today the population is about 110,000. CITES allows Zimbabwe 500 permits a year, or less than half of 1 percent of its population. Elephants reproduce at a rate of 4 to 5 percent a year. Because of the growth rate, Botswana has more than 130,000 elephants. Experts say its carrying capacity is 60,000. Botswana will be issued a quota of 400 elephant by CITES in 2010.

The plain fact is that Africa is a developing continent with a largely rural population that must, for lack of an alternative, derive virtually all of its revenue from natural resources. According to the World Bank, 60 percent of the Sub-Saharan African population lives on less than $1 per day.

African governments have increasingly recognized wildlife as a precious natural resource that can be managed through sustained-utilization, which is to say, hunting.

Even more telling, some African countries have tried bans on hunting. There are two examples of this: Kenya and Tanzania. Tanzania closed hunting in 1973 and reopened it in 1978 after poaching reduced its elephant population by over half. Once hunting reopened, the elephant rebounded to a current population around 125,000.

In 1977 Kenya banned hunting and has never reopened it. The costs have been staggering. According to the African Conservation Foundation, 70 percent of Kenya’s wildlife outside national parks has been poached out. Kenya’s elephants fared even worse: between 1979 and 1989, the elephant population fell from 130,000 to 17,000.

What does hunting provide? Two things: money and oversight. As we noted, rural Africans are poor and must eke a living from whatever means are most expeditious. Safari companies provide long-term employment to rural Africans. There are the immediate and obvious jobs, such as working in a hunting camp, but there are also anti-poaching teams, bridge and road building crews and game scouts who all derive a livelihood from hunting.

In Zimbabwe, hunting elephants alone generates $15 million a year, according to George Pangeti of the Zimbabwe Parks Department. And continent-wide, approximately $77 million will be generated from the 1,540 quota of hunted elephant set by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for 2010.

In the 2007 hunting season in South Africa, 16,394 foreign hunters spent $91 million, according to the South African Professional Hunters Association. The association estimates that 70,000 jobs are created by South Africa’s game-ranching industry.

[….]

The elephant is another excellent example of the benefits of hunting. CITES was formed in 1973 as African elephants were being hammered by commercial poachers for their ivory. The elephant population in Africa dropped from over 1 million in 1970 to at least 472,269 in 2006, according to the World Conservation Union. Most estimates say the actual elephant population in Africa is around 600,000 today.

In 1989, CITES banned commercial ivory sales yet allowed hunted trophies to be exported. Once the ivory trade was stifled, elephant populations in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa bounced back. The countries without growing elephant populations today are in unstable regions, such as the Congo, where poaching is still a problem.

Zimbabwe was down below 30,000 elephants in 1989, but today the population is about 110,000. CITES allows Zimbabwe 500 permits a year, or less than half of 1 percent of its population. Elephants reproduce at a rate of 4 to 5 percent a year. Because of the growth rate, Botswana has more than 130,000 elephants. Experts say its carrying capacity is 60,000. Botswana will be issued a quota of 400 elephant by CITES in 2010….

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