Poaching in Southern Tanzania: We are greatly concerned about the reported level of poaching in southern Tanzania. The negative position of the Panel of Experts towards the token downlisting of elephant in Tanzania at CITES CoP15 in Doha was partly based upon the level of poaching and possible decline in the number of elephant in southern Tanzania. The most recent survey estimate was down 30,000 in that area. The Robin Hurt Wildlife Foundation and the Sarah and Ross Perot Foundation are taking action.
The Sarah and Ross Perot Foundation is funding a large anti-poaching operation being mounted in southern Tanzania by the Hurt Foundation in conjunction with Tanzania’s Wildlife Department. The Perots (Perot Jr.) donated $75,000 US dollars dedicated exclusively to the effort through Conservation Force in memory of their dear hunting friend Hays Kirby who was sadly killed in a car accident earlier this year. Hays Kirby had hunted many times with Robin Hurt. The Perots are regular donors to both Conservation Force and the Robin Hurt Wildlife Foundation. Sportsmen continue to be the force. Thank you.
Hornady Manufacturing Company: Hornady has become the third Corporate Sponsor of Conservation Force. Steve Hornady has long been a personal contributor to all that Conservation Force does but now the company is stepping up to be a Corporate Sponsor. There is no question that Hornady is the leading hunting ammunition manufacturer in the world today. To date, the three corporate sponsors are Global Rescue, Fauna & Flora International and Hornady Manufacturing Company. We are proud to have sponsors of this caliber.
World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA): Another organization of growing importance to traveling hunters is the WFSA. It is a 40-member association with UN status speaking for more than 100 million hunters and sport shooters. Yours truly serves on its Executive Committee and chairs its Transit Task Force (TTF). That task force tracks and attempts to contend with problems hunters and shooters encounter traveling with their personal firearms and ammunition for sporting purposes. Hunters, sport shooters and competitive target shooters have been finding it more and more difficult to transport their sporting firearms. Airline procedures, International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules, security protocols and national government regulations are all part of an ever more complex travel environment.
It has now been confirmed that the WFSA/TTF will convene an international workshop on November 10, 2010 in Geneva to protect and secure recreational firearms transportation. This will be the first effort of this magnitude to establish consistency, better practices and standards to facilitate transit. The workshop is entitled Sporting Firearms and Ammunition as Airline Baggage: Growing Problems - Simple Solutions.
The goals of the workshop are to 1) examine problems with the transport of sporting firearms and ammunition as baggage, 2) recommend model airline and security procedures for the transport of such, 3) if necessary, propose additions to International Air Transport Association resolutions, and 4) encourage states to adopt simplified procedures for the temporary import, export and transit of sporting firearms and ammunition as contemplated by Article 10, Section 6 of the UN Firearms Protocol.
In the meantime we are continuing to contend with firearms transportation problems as they arise.
World Symposium on the Ecologic and Economic Benefit of Hunting: Readers may remember that the WFSA hosted a significant forum for three days in September 2009 in Windhoek, Namibia on the benefits of hunting. Many of the foremost authorities in the world participated. Conservation Force was one of the principle sponsors and participants. My own presentation was entitled The Unrealized Potential of Conservation Hunting, which contained a message that needs to be broadcasted far and wide.
The whole symposium with every paper, totaling 400 pages, is now available and is free. It is on Conservation Force’s website under “Why We Hunt: Conservation Benefits” at http://www.conservationforce.org/role.html or on WFSA’s website at http://www.wfsa.net/events.html. Summaries are on those sites at the moment, but the actual presentations should be substituted by the time this Bulletin reaches readers.
Mohamed Malik to Receive Award: Dr. Mohamed Malik Sahib has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Service Award for 2010 from the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB). He is the just-retired Chief Conservator of Wildlife for the Pakistan Forestry Department that administered the markhor program in the Northwest Province. The award is for his “extraordinary contributions to conservation biology.” It is an award for his three decades of work but certainly also recognition of the markhor conservation strategy he oversaw - and indirect credit to Shikar Safari Club who funded his education and the program from its inception to completion. The award is to be presented at the 24th annual meeting of the 10,000-member Society in Edmonton, Alberta in July. Yours truly and Shane Mahoney are participants in the annual meeting and will attend the award presentation.
The related markhor Torghar Project in Pakistan will also receive an award at the CoP of the Convention on Biodiversity in October in Japan. It will receive the Markhor Award, which is named after it. It is fitting the Torghar Project receive the conservation award already named in its honor. Of course, CITES Parties long ago created a quota for these critically endangered species, which is another form of recognition or award.
Latest on Addax, Dama Gazelle and Scimitar-Horned Oryx: The USF&WS issued a notice in the Federal Register, 75 FR 200, on April 26, 2010 that has caused confusion for some regarding the management of the endangered listed addax, Dama gazelle and scimitar-horned oryx. Some people concluded that the Special Rule allowing the harvest had been terminated and that they need the more traditional captive-bred and cull permits to proceed. Not so. The Special Rule is still in effect and a revision of it is expected to be issued in the near future. It is in the process of being revised, not wholly eliminated. In fact, the USF&WS has asked that owners/managers not apply for captive-bred and cull permits for those three species at this time. They want managers to wait for the new regulation and whatever it provides. We believe the new revised regulation will still entail some kind of procedure.
The notice was entitled Unified Agenda and was meant to give notice that the USF&WS would soon publish a “revision” of the regulation and repeal the existing regulation. Some readers concluded “repeal” meant total abandonment rather than revision but missed the “revision” title. We checked with the Service and have been advised that it is status quo for the time being.
Whatever the ultimate outcome, Conservation Force stands ready to help exotic game managers comply with the new enhancement protocol. - John J. Jackson, III.