There are a host of reactions in both the United States and the European Union to the reported upsurge in poaching and illegal trade of wildlife. President Obama’s Executive Order creating both an Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Task Force and an Advisory Council conspicuously left out membership of the hunting community, but not the animal rights and protectionist groups. Consequently, many of the suggestions have been aimed at lawful, regulated trade rather than poaching and unlawful trade. Of course, licensed, regulated hunting and trade generates budget revenue for anti-poaching and crucial anti-poaching incentives for local people. Hunting operators also directly and indirectly reduce and help control poaching. In fact, the regulated hunting community is the foremost anti-poaching force in the world as hunting leadership has been for thousands of years. From the very inception, wildlife management has included anti-poaching (“Ancient Asian societies” – Raul Valdez, Exploring Our Ancient Roots). We are the real experts.
Conservation Force itself has funded many millions of dollars of poaching control in pass-through donations. Conservation Force’s activities have tripled anti-poaching funding in Pakistan, doubled rhino anti-poaching revenue in Namibia, and routinely generates 200 to 500 thousand dollars a year in anti-poaching through partnerships with hunting operators across Africa. For example, we facilitate over $100,000 annually through the Cullman & Hurt Foundation in Tanzania as well as up to $300,000 for the Tanganyika Wildlife Foundation in Tanzania. It is well documented that the presence of hunting operators itself deters poaching and provides alerts to authorities. The absence of operators is like leaving your house open and empty – it is an invitation for thieves to move in.
Conservation Force’s partner, CIC, will hold a Global Summit entitled Hunters United Against Wildlife Crime at the beginning of its AGM in Milan, Italy on April 24, 2014.
The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa, PHASA, has begun collecting $500 from all rhino hunting and rhino darting safaris for rhino anti-poaching as contributions to and through Conservation Force in a new rhino anti-poaching strategy.
Conservation Force is also forming an anti-poaching partnership with all the Republic of South Africa and Mozambique hunting operators surrounding Kruger National Park to contain the rhino poaching in and around the park. It will be a ring or circle of added protection.
Of course, the funds from the recent black rhino auction at Dallas Safari Club’s convention resting in Conservation Force’s trust account are dedicated to control of poaching and closely related conservation measures in Namibia.
We hope to showcase these growing anti-poaching partnerships in these pages in the future. One exemplary project is the Dande Anti-Poaching Unit we have just partnered with in Zimbabwe. View the following brochure and their website at http://cmsafaris.com/african-elephant-research/dande-anti-poaching.htm.