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Conservation Force and Partners Demonstrate the Leopard Should Not Be Up-Listed, but Should Be De-Listed in the SADC Countries

Written By John J. Jackson III, Conservation Force Chairman & President
(posted March 2017)

Conservation Force argues that leopard should be de-listed not up-listed. Photo by Duncan Watson.

By Regina Lennox, Staff Attorney

On January 30, Conservation Force, Dallas Safari Club, DSC Foundation, Houston Safari Club, Shikar-Safari Club International, Shikar-Safari International Foundation, the International Professional Hunters Association, the African Professional Hunters Association and the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa filed a joint comment opposing the petitioned up-listing of the African leopard across its range. The 50-page comment was supported by 124 attachments. The leopard is currently split-listed under the ESA, with those populations in Southern and parts of East and Central Africa listed as "threatened," and those in the rest of Africa listed as "endangered." (As we explained in the January bulletin, the up-listing was requested in a Petition filed by animal rights organizations, and the FWS made a 90-Day-Finding that further action may be warranted on the Petition, and initiated a status review of the species.)

Instead of up-listing, our comment showed how the leopard should be de-listed in the SADC countries. There is more secure habitat, greater numbers of prey, and better regulatory controls now than when the leopard was down-listed in these countries in 1982. Moreover, the 1982 down-listing allowed limited trade in trophies specifically because the FWS recognized the benefits of licensed, regulated safari hunting, and the revenue that could be generated for conservation, anti-poaching and community engagement. The same holds true today. We provided peer-reviewed articles demonstrating that if the leopard is up-listed and additional trade barriers are imposed, the leopard is likely to suffer because the benefits of licensed, regulated hunting will decline.

The comment is organized in accordance with the ESA's listing factors (habitat, utilization, disease/predation, regulatory mechanisms and "other"). Our key points are summarized below.

Factor A - Habitat

Habitat loss is a general threat to all species due to Africa's growing human population. However, this threat is being mitigated by range states. There are more protected areas in 2017 than in 1982. For example, the SADC countries have created or expanded a number of national parks, increasing the protected area network by over 32,000 km2 in Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia alone. (That is an area about the size of New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island.) Leopard are strictly protected in the parks, and not at risk of extinction. 

Land set aside for sustainable use also plays an essential role in leopard conservation. These areas have ballooned, particularly in communal areas and on private land. Namibia's conservancies did not exist in 1982, but they now cover 160,000+ km2. The same is true of CAMPFIRE areas in Zimbabwe (~50,000 km2) and Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania (~50,000 km2). Mozambique was experiencing civil war in 1982, but now has over 62,000 km2 in coutadas where wildlife is flourishing. Similarly, private conservancies and ranches have expanded, to cover 200,000 km2 in South Africa alone as well as over 63,670 km2 in Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. And perhaps most crucially, the SADC countries are connecting their protected area networks through Trans-Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs). The SADC countries have bound themselves to increase protected habitat and coordinate conservation across borders through these TFCAs. There are six established, six emerging, six in the kickoff stages, and over 12 million hectares (120,000 km2) of new protected areas designated as part of the TFCA process. This is a huge area of protected habitat to secure the future of the leopard and its prey.

Protected areas for leopard have grown since it was downlisted in 1982, not decreased as the petition asserts.

The comment distinguished a recent study concluding that the leopard has lost 48-67% percent of its "historic" habitat and only ~17% of its habitat is in "protected" areas. The study defines "historic" as 1750! And it defined "protected" areas to exclude areas permitting sustainable use. The study is of no real value to wildlife managers because of these out-of-touch parameters. We also distinguished the 2016 IUCN Red List assessment for leopard. The Red List "suspects," "infers," and "estimates" an almost 21% habitat loss in Southern Africa and a ~30% population decline. But it is largely based on "suspicions" drawn from bushmeat poaching studies, "personal communications" with one scientist, and the habitat study. We countered this "suspicion" with recent density estimates and large mammal censuses showing dense leopard populations and increasing prey base in Southern Africa. Also, the Red List does not find the leopard is endangered.

Factor B - Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

The leopard is not overutilized. By definition, it cannot be. It is already listed on CITES Appendix I, and the FWS' Division of Scientific Authority (DSA) must make non-detriment findings to authorize import of hunting trophies. The DSA has repeatedly made these findings - in 1982 and annually since, most recently in 2016. The DSA considers the "best available scientific and management information."  Legal utilization of the leopard through hunting is, and has repeatedly been found to be, well-monitored and sustainable.

The Petition submitted an "original analysis" of trade in leopard products to argue that the trade is unsustainable. However, trade in hunting trophies has always been below the annual export quotas set by the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to CITES. The Petition's analysis relies on the CITES Trade Database, but that database is notorious for overstating imports and exports. Moreover, the Petition used a type of report known to overstate trade the most. We provided our own analysis using the CITES-recommended "comparative valuation report," and our estimate of annual trade - which is still higher than actual offtakes - is almost a third lower than the Petition's. In other words, we demonstrated that the Petition's analysis was incorrect and overblown.  

With respect to illegal trade in leopard skins, we provided evidence the SADC countries themselves do not believe a large amount of illegal trade exists. In South Africa, there was high demand for leopard skins for ceremonial use among members of the Nazareth Baptist Church. However, this illegal trade is being controlled by better law enforcement and efforts to distribute synthetic skins to Church members. (For example, Panthera has distributed over 14,000 synthetic skins.) 

Factor C - Disease or Predation

The Petition conceded, and the FWS' 90-Day-Finding concluded, that disease or predation are not real risks for the leopard.

Factor D - Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

International trade in hunting trophies is regulated by a CITES Resolution that sets a maximum annual export quota for each country authorizing trade. Compliance with the quotas is adaptively overseen by the CITES Secretariat, Animals Committee, Standing Committee and numerous CoPs. (As one example, at the most recent CoP17, the CITES Parties invited range states with leopard quotas to review those quotas and to report on their reviews to the Animals and Standing Committees in 2018.) Moreover, the SADC range states all have CITES processes by which they issue and monitor export permits, do not issue permits to trophies that do not comply with national laws, and revise national and local quotas as needed to ensure offtakes are not detrimental. Implementation of CITES is more than adequate and far more robust than in 1982 when the leopard was down listed to threatened.

However, we also summarized and attached range states laws, almost all of which were not even enacted in 1982. For example, Namibia's Game Products Trust Fund (the repository for hunting proceeds, which are then invested in management and anti-poaching projects as approved by a Board) was not created until 1997. South Africa's National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act and Threatened or Protected Species regulations were not enacted until the mid-2000s. The range states' regulatory systems are not only robust - they are state-of-the-art. Zambia has a brand-new wildlife law (2015), and Tanzania and Zambia have new wildlife authorities and regulations to govern wildlife management and sustainable use. Mozambique updated its penalties for wildlife crimes in 2014 and 2016, closing loopholes identified in documents cited by the Petition. Most of the SADC countries' laws are, or are about to be, recognized as "Category I" by the CITES Secretariat. (This puts them in the same category as US law.)

Perhaps most importantly, the community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) programs so fundamental to reducing poaching and human-wildlife conflicts did not exist in 1982. Zimbabwe's law was amended to give communities user rights in 1982, but the CAMPFIRE program was not operational until 1989. Namibia's communal conservancies were authorized by a 1996 law. Tanzania's Wildlife Management Area regulations were not promulgated until 2002. Effective CBNRM is now considered the only way to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking and maintain or increase wildlife populations. And it is an innovation that post-dates the leopard's down-listing. In short, the regulatory controls are in far better shape than in 1982, and the range states are doing far more to encourage the protection of species like the leopard. Given this framework, the leopard should be de-listed, not up-listed.

Factor E - Other Natural or Human-Made Factors Affecting the Species' Existence

We raised a few legal and practical points in addition of the improved status that cut against the petitioned up-listing. For example:
  • The ESA requires the FWS to "take into account" the conservation programs of range states in the listing process. Up-listing the leopard would undercut the range states' programs in Southern Africa, which largely rely on licensed, regulated hunting. The range states have spoken out against international trade barriers and calls for hunting bans, and their views and efforts must be factored in. (We attached many articles and reports of the range states' opposition to further barriers or bans on hunting trophies.)

  • The leopard has more range, better numbers and better adaptability than the threatened-listed lion. The leopard also benefits from range state efforts at lion conservation. It would be inconsistent to up-list the leopard while the lion in the SADC countries was recently listed as "threatened."

  • The leopard is not "in crisis." The "suspicions" of its decline are not confirmed by range state authorities, density studies, safari hunting operator reports, wildlife managers and community representatives. The "crisis" is largely created by organizations (and even some scientists) who will benefit from the public attention or outcry.

  • The 60-day comment period was far too short, especially as range states were given even less notice to prepare responses.

  • The SADC countries qualify as a "distinct population segment," as defined by FWS policy. This means they can be treated separately from other leopard populations. The SADC countries are defined by international borders and have established TFCAs to link their territories, and have created an intergovernmental body to coordinate policies.

The leopard was down-listed in 1982 because the FWS recognized that benefits could be generated from licensed, regulated hunting. We drove this point home with numerous attachments. Hunting has given the leopard value. That is the primary reason why the leopard is doing better in Southern Africa than in North or West Africa - where the leopard is continuing to decline, despite an "endangered" listing. For example, hunting justifies the protection of far more land as habitat than in strictly protected national parks. Hunting revenues generate most of the operating revenues for range state wildlife authorities, including most anti-poaching. As an example, hunting revenues contributed almost $70 million to the wildlife authorities of Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in the 2013-2015 period. Hunting operators also invest substantial "unreported" funds in anti-poaching. We provided specific examples of such investments and successes from each country.

Perhaps most importantly, hunting revenues and benefits create greater tolerance for the leopard. Landholders and local residents are more willing to have leopard on their property, and more willing to have greater numbers of leopard, because they benefit from income, employment, game meat, compensation payments, and infrastructure improvements (e.g., the building of clinics and schools, the digging of boreholes, etc.). We provided specific examples of millions of dollars of contributions to community programs to create direct links between healthy wildlife populations and community welfare. Hunting offtakes are not additive but rather compensatory, because of the tolerance of leopard that hunting generates.

Other Comments

Our comment was one of 736. Two range states publicly submitted documents opposing up-listing. Mozambique's wildlife authority flatly stated "the leopard is not endangered in Mozambique." Its comment cited over 640,000 km2 in available leopard habitat, utilization of only ~44% of its CITES quota over the past five years, and low problem animal offtakes, among other things. It described the benefits of licensed, regulated hunting, including over $3 million in anti-poaching and community and block development contributions in 2013-2015. Tanzania's wildlife authority also confirmed the country's "leopard population is … neither endangered nor facing threat of extinction." Over 335,000 km2 of habitat exists in protected areas. Tanzania has utilized only an average of 35% of its CITES-approved export quota over the past five years. Newly-revised regulations require legal trophies to be above a certain length. Tanzania also has a Lion and Leopard Conservation Action Plan, which is a more than adequate regulatory mechanism. Tanzania's wildlife authority emphasized that restrictions on lawful leopard hunting "will create disincentives" for further conservation, and concluded with a warning against further FWS import bans:

If leopard trophy imports into the United States of America will not be accepted, sustainability of trophy hunting would be threatened through loss of one of its main markets … with no revenue generation, the Government will have no means to adequately continue funding the protection of the PAs and many protected areas devoted to trophy hunting will be invaded, encroached and converted to agro-pastoral lands … Listing the leopard as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act will have detrimental impact not only to the economy of Tanzania, but also to conservation of biodiversity and wellbeing of communities living around protected areas … The crucial contributions of Safari operators to conservation in Tanzania are under threat.

Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) submitted a preliminary leopard non-detriment finding from December 2012 and the report of a 2016 workshop held to update that finding. ZPWMA previously objected to the short period FWS gave them for a response and requested an extension. ZPWMA is preparing an up-to-date non-detriment finding (with funding from Conservation Force) and will likely submit it in March or April. Zambia also sent a letter to the FWS.

SCI submitted a comment pointing out the FWS has defined an "endangered" species to be "on the brink of extinction," and leopard do not qualify. Even taking the Petition's analysis on its face, leopard inhabit over half their "historic" range in Southern and East Africa, and prey species are recovering in most of these countries. Reclassification is not warranted per the FWS' own policies. SCI also noted that leopard are already protected under the ESA and CITES, and "nothing positive can be achieved" through up-listing except detrimental impacts on the range states' CBNRM programs. Finally, SCI argued that the FWS should accept comments from range states submitted after the SCI Convention.

The Petitioners (HSUS, HSI, Fund for Animals and IFAW) submitted a joint comment further supporting their Petition and referencing new documents. As per usual, these organizations bent the facts to their will. They cited a study of agricultural lands in Namibia to assert a "low" leopard density, without admitting this habitat is non-protected and "unsafe" for leopard (per the study's authors.) (This insinuation is also undercut by Namibia's Carnivore Atlas (2012), which shows the country's leopard population has more than doubled since 2004.) The Petitioners also cited a recent study in Zambia hypothesizing that leopard prey species were lower in the Game Management Area (GMA) buffering a national park than inside the park. But of course, bushmeat poaching in that GMA increased in 2013 and 2014 - the years Zambia banned all hunting. The Petitioners also misrepresented statements in the 2016 IUCN Red List assessment - which, notably, did not conclude the leopard was "endangered."

The other "substantive" comments included a very short letter from Born Free USA supporting the up-listing, a letter from a "concerned college student" suggesting the FWS designate critical leopard habitat in Africa (which is obviously not within the ambit of a US regulatory agency), and two comments from South African NGOs.  These organizations claim that hunting is unmanaged in Southern Africa and thus should be banned, but their comments are largely unsupported and not very different from the hundreds of individual comments voicing personal opinions that leopard should be up-listed and that licensed, regulated hunting should be banned.

The hunting community made a better showing. A number of supported comments were posted by hunters including PHs and landowners in Southern Africa, who emphasized the important value placed on leopard as a game animal, how this increases local tolerance of the species, and how they have directly observed healthy leopard populations in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other countries. These comments came from individuals who explained their first-hand exposure to leopard and wildlife management, and provided personal anecdotes about land being conserved through hunting, prey species being recovered, and the value of hunting benefits for reducing conflicts.


Our comment provided extensive support for the position that the leopard should not be up-listed - in fact, leopard should be de-listed. The leopard is in a better position now than when it was initially down-listed to "threatened." Up-listing would be inconsistent with the years of DSA non-detriment findings that demonstrate FWS oversight of the species and the sustainability of the use through licensed, regulated hunting. We cannot predict the future, but there was nothing in the other files, and nothing in the Petition, strong enough to counteract the best available scientific and commercial information we (and the range states themselves) provided.

Conservation Force 2017
January National Geographic Portrays Lions as Savage Beasts
January Conservation Force Presents to State Legislators on Unlawful State Trophy Bans
January Convention on Biodiversity CoP 13
January Safari Hunting Brings Benefits: Opposing View
January FWS Makes Finding on Antis' Petition to Up-List All African Leopard to Endangered
January PHASA Presents Coenraad Vermaak Award to President of Conservation Force
February In Remembrance of Dr. Graham Child
February Conservation Force Adds Another Staff Attorney to Its Team
February Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award
February Mongolia Argali Populations Stable and Increasing
March Conservation Force and Partners Demonstrate the Leopard Should Not Be Up-Listed, but Should Be De-Listed in the SADC Countries
April The Time Has Come for Congress to Take the Lead
April Renee Snider Joins Conservation Force Board of Directors
April FWS Finally Acts on Certain Zimbabwe Elephant Permits
April Moving Ahead with Conservation Force's Land Conservation Program
May Is the US Fish & Wildlife Service Acting Responsibly?
May Clarifying a Proposed Lion Cull on the Bubye Valley Conservancy
May Strategies to Effectively Handle the Next Cecil
June Wanted: Test Permit Applications for Cape Mountain Zebra and Canadian Wood Bison
June Conservation Force Submits Two ESA Petitions to Expedite Imports of Species Down-Listed at CITES CoP17
June Taking Permitting Issues to The Top - Letter to Secretary Zinke
June Five 'Wildlife Protection' Organizations Petition to List Giraffe Under 'Endangered'
June Tanzania Revises Tourist Hunting Regulations to Export Leopard Trophies
July Getting an Enhancement Import Permit Requires Asking the Right Questions Before A Hunt
July Important Issues at Upcoming CITES 29th Animals Committee Meeting
July In Memoria of Theunis Botha
August A Tribute to Bert Klineburger, Father of International Hunting
September Successful Participation in 29th Animals Committee Meeting
September Conservation Force Makes a Compelling Argument on Zimbabwe Elephant Trophy Imports before the FWS Director
September Conservation Force Responds to USAID Study on How To Combat Illegal Wildlife Trafficking
October FWS Makes Enhancement Finding Necessary for Lion Import Permits
October Newly Revised FWS Permit Forms Approved
October Protection of Privacy in Permitting
November Analysis of Preliminary National Survey Says Big Game Hunting in Decline
November Grand Opening of Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium
November Decision Time for Lion Hot Spot in West Africa
December Stop Press Report: Media and Wacko Antis Out-Trumpet Trump with False Facts
December Making Strides to Reduce the Regulatory Burden on Applicants and Range Nations

Conservation Force 2016
January The Value of Conservation Hunting Explained through Conservation Force's Three-Part Formula
February FWS Issues First Tajik Markhor Permit, Recognizing Conservation Benefits of Tajikistan’s Community Conservancy Program
February Polar Bear Five-Year Status Review – Perhaps a Chance to Reevaluate the Threatened Listing
February FWS Lists the African Lion
March Zimbabwe Finalizes Its National Elephant Action Plan
March The Importance of Community Based Conservation to the Future of Elephant Management in Zimbabwe
March The Role of Sport Hunting in Elephant Conservation
March Ranks Close Against Hunting of Captive Bred Lion: Scientists Act
April Cecil's Law and EU Declarations - What Is the Risk, Where Is the Truth?
May USFWS Accepting Comments on Reclassification of African Elephant as Endangered
May Lion (and Leopard) Workshops - Kasane, Lusaka, Maputo and Dar es Salaam
May Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Act
June New Jersey Likely to Adopt Ban on Four of Big Five Trophies
June Statement to the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking
June First Tier of Supporters
June Scientists Finally Disclose Cecil Not Lured from Park
July New Elephant Import Regulations By US Fish & Wildlife Service Go Into Effect
July New Jersey Bans State Residents' Possession and Import of Big Four Trophies
July Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Delta Airlines Trophy Embargo
July Black Rhino Hunting Permits Available Again in Namibia
July Michael Cassidy Elected to Head US Delegation of CIC
August Conservation Force Sues the State of New Jersey to Void Anti-Trophy Law
August Conservation Force Appeals Dismissal of Delta Lawsuit
August Conservation Force's Biggest Supporters
August More Onerous Trophy Seizure and Forfeiture Procedures Proposed
August Conservation Force Creates its First Chapter: Taxidermists For Conservation
September The Leopard in the Lime Light
September Why Do We Hunt?
September VICTORY in New Jersey Suit to Void Anti-Trophy Law
October New Jersey Trophy Ban Case Successfully Closed
October USFWS Makes Necessary Non-Detriment Findings for Import of Tajikistan Markhor
October IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii (WCC)
October Cecil Rally a Flop
October New Jersey Senator Lesniak Proposes New Elephant Ban in the State
October Former Secretary General of CITES Calls for Support for Sustainable Use
November CITES Conference of the Parties 17: Decisions Affecting Hunting
November Communities on the Edge: How a Wildlife Trade Conference Denied a Role to Communities
December Study Documents Significant Hunting Operator Contributions to Wildlife & Communities

Conservation Force 2015
January Two Recent Zimbabwe Elephant Workshops Should Prompt USFWS to Allow Hunting Trophy Imports Again
January Iconic Conservation Hero Ian Player Passes
January Status Report on Elephant Import Suspensions
January Trophy Seizures and Forfeitures by USFWS Continue
February Report on the CAMPFIRE Workshop in Zimbabwe
February Another Successful Sheep Show
March Dateline: Tanzania - Don’t Blame the Victim, Don’t Punish the Elephant – Conservation Force Argues the Tanzania Suspension at FWS
April It’s Simple: Hunting is Conservation
April Conservation Force’s Pre-Application to be an Accredited Land Trust is Accepted
April Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force Shows its True Colors
April New Corporate-Conservation Sponsor: Ripcord Travel Protection Program
April Congressional Action to Exempt Three Amigos from Permitting Upheld by Federal Court
May FWS Issues Two More Black Rhino Import Permits
May Antis File Petition to List All Elephant as Endangered
May EU Trophy Import Permits Now Required
May Electronic Registration of Firearms and Ammo for International Travel
May U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website Information
May Two More Negative Elephant Import Decisions Made By FWS
May From Safari Club International Foundation
June Highlights from the Fifth Meeting of the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking
June More on the CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World
June Airlines Embargo Trophies
June Australia Bans Lion Imports
June Two Anti-Hunting Organizations File Separate Suits to Stop Import of Black Rhino Trophies
June Conservation Force Hosts Sebungwe Workshop
July What's Going on Within Conservation Force, and Much More You Need to Know
July Whose Elephants Are They? - Part Two: Lessons from the Sebungwe (Zimbabwe)
July Update on Airline Trophy Embargoes
July Free Legal Aide to Import 2015 Tanzania Elephant Trophies
August Significant Suspensions of Trophy Imports Under New EU Regulations
August Release of IUCN Red List
August European Union Accession to CITES
August Two Past CITES Secretariat Generals Urge CITES Action on Airline Embargoes
August Conservation Force Facebook Page Up and Running
September Cecil-Mania: Setting the Record Straight
October South Africa: The Brewing Storm: New, Compounding Threats to Wildlife Conservation
October Rupert Brown Joins Board of Advisors
October PETA Enhancement Suit Dismissed
October CITES Matters: Next Conference, Polar Bears, Lions
October Longtime Conservation Partner Robin Hurt Warns of Inappropriate Reaction to Cecil Incident
November Proposed New Elephant Import Regulations
November Airline Embargoes Contrary to Public Policy and Law
November Review of Lions in the Balance
November Conservation Force and Partners Sue Delta to End the Illegal Trophy Embargo
December The Measure of Safari Hunting's Positive Impact upon Communities - More than the Media Reports

Conservation Force 2014
January Firestorm Email Attacks by Media and Antis
January CIC Milan 61st General Assembly/Crime Summit
January USFWS Re-Notices Proposed ESA Downlisting of Markhor
January Markhor Import Permit Appeal
January Hunter Proud Foundation & Osprey Filming Company
January Intervention in Latest Three Amigos Suit
February Antis’ Antics Have Perverse Negative Effect on Rhino Conservation
March Speech Upon Receiving the Houston Safari Club International Hunter of the Year Award
March Hunting: A Great Debate
April Illegal Wildlife Trade and Poaching
April Conservation Force Solves Liberia Trophy Import Problems
April Elephant Hair and Skin Bracelets Importable
April Conservation Force First Quarter 2014 Report
May USFWS Implements Catastrophic Suspension of Elephant Imports from Tanzania and Zimbabwe
May Letter to USFWS from Robin Hurt
June First Formal Action on Elephant Import Suspension Taken by Conservation Force
July Import Permits Issued for Sulaiman Markhor of Torghar Project
July Trophy Definition to Again Include Worked, Manufactured or Handicraft Items
July Comments Opposing Zimbabwe Elephant Trophy Import Suspension
July USFWS Produces Letter of Inquiry to Tanzania on Elephant Populations
August Status of Elephant Import Suspensions for Zimbabwe and Tanzania
August The True Status of White Rhino Populations
August Win the Wild, A Fictionalized Account of How South Africa Reclaimed Its Wildlife Heritage
September Final Zim Finding: Most and Best Available Information Ignored
October Dateline: Africa: Facts About Elephant Enhancement in Tanzania
October Tanzania: Elephant Up, Poaching Down
October CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World Available in USA
October Memorial Donation
October What Listings the Protectionists Want at the Next CITES CoP
November Founding Conservation Force Board Member Donald Lindsay Passes
November Dateline Pakistan: USFWS Special Rule Downlists All Straight-Horned Markhor to Threatened
November The Role of Trophy Hunting in the Downlisting of Straight-horned Markhor
December Conservation Force & Partners Refute Negative USFWS Enhancement Finding on Zimbabwe Elephant Trophy Imports
December USFWS Rejects Request for Reconsideration of Tanzania Permit Denials
December Revealed: USFWS “Information” that “Poaching Levels are Increasing” in Zimbabwe are Merely News Articles and Anecdotal Reports
December ESA 12-Month Finding and Proposal to List all Lion as Threatened

Conservation Force 2013
January US Fish and Wildlife Service Announces 90-Day Finding on ESA Listing for African Lion
February Why Hunt Wild Cats: Arguments Previously Made By USFWS and African Nations
March World Conservation Force Bulletin Enters Its 18th Year
March Mozambique and Cameroon Hippo Trade Suspended by CITES
March Final Findings of National Survey Reports A Record Number of Big Game Hunters
March 2012 Zambia Elephant Trophy Imports Approved
March On Receiving The Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award
April A CITES CoP16 Report: Key Wins, Some Losses for the Hunting Community
April What Was Truly at Stake with the Polar Bear Proposal
May USFWS Grants First Black Rhino Import Permit
May Evaluating Namibia’s Rhino Program
May Rhino Populations Grow Despite Poaching
June CIC General Assembly Adopts Recommendations for African Lion and White Rhino
June Double Quotas Not Yet Resolved in USA
June Equal Allocation of New Mexico Nonresident Licenses for Rocky Mountain and Desert Bighorn Sheep, Oryx and Ibex Challenged Again
June Wood Bison Cases Still in Court
June Black Rhino Public Education
July USFWS Denies Petitions to Remove Private, Captive Populations of Species from ESA: Scimitar-horned Oryx, Dama Gazelle and Addax Denied
July Polar Bear Litigation Developments
July Finally, All Gray Wolves Proposed for Removal from ESA
July Status of the Petition to List the Lion as Endangered: African Lion Workshop
August Court Turns Deaf Ear to Polar Bear Enhancement Permit Applicants for Gulf of Boothia
August Newly Published Monograph on Hunting & Conservation
August Family Hunts Under One License are Illegal
August Wildlife for the 21st Century, Volume IV
September Downlisting of Straight-Horned Markhor Delayed; USFWS to Issue Revised Proposed Rule to Reclassify Species Under ESA
September New Trophy Seizure Issues Arise
September New Mexico Nonresident Terk Case Revving Up
September Polar Bear Listing Now Before US Supreme Court
October US Fish & Wildlife Lists White Rhino as Threatened
October Two Articles on Black Rhino Trophy Imports
October Defense of Terk Decision Needs Support
October Two Colorado State Senators Recalled for Passage of Firearms Restrictions
October Cheetah Numbers Increasing
November US Supreme Court Denies Polar Bear Writ
November Court Should Hold Feds Accountable for Questionable ESA Listing
November Succession and Development: “What will We Do When You are Gone?
November Black Rhino Auction: A Dream Come True
December Unintended Consequences May Arise from Presidential Executive Order to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
December The Crush: Whose Ivory was Destroyed and Will It Truly Curtail Poaching?
December Climate Change Used to Reopen Wolverine Listing Proposal
December Conservation Force Wins FOIA Suit for Records Revealing Why USFWS Stalled Markhor Downlisting
December Suit Threatens Three Amigos Permitting Process; Conservation Force and Allied Organizations to Intervene

Conservation Force 2012
January HSUS Threatens Conservation Force’s Asian Projects and Partners
January Markhor III Suit Filed to Compel 12-Month Downlisting Finding
January Serious Irregularities in Administrative Records and Scientific Findings
January Can You Offer for Sale or Sell an “Endangered” Listed Species Without a Permit?
February Conservation Force Partners with SAVE Valley Conservancy
February New Mexico Further Restricts Nonresident Hunting
February An Open Letter to Ranchers and Hunters of ESA Listed Exotics in The US
March Trophy Seizure Threat Reaches New High; USFWS Conduct Reaches New Low
March Some Court Success in Seizure Cases
March New Study Quantifies the Importance of Lion Hunting
March Onsite Report: The Etosha Meeting of African Lion Working Group
March Conservation Force Legal Action Update
April USF&WS Proposes New CITES Regulations
April Update on Three Amigos: Dama Gazelle, Addax and Scimitar-horned Oryx
April CF Board Members Selected To Important IUCN Posts
April Help Needed For Conservation Force Intern Program
May Wood Bison II Litigation Successfully Concluded: Court Overturns USFWS Enhancement Permit Denials
May Markhor III Suit Settled
June Dr. James Teer, Founding Member of Conservation Force, Dies
June Canadian Wood Bison Downlisted! Trophies Now Importable
July National Fish & Wildlife Conservation Congress in Canada
July Hunting for an Acceptable Image: Building Public Acceptance for Sustainable Use of Wildlife
July USFWS Considering Positions for CITES CoP16
July Antis Again Challenge “Trophy” Definition
August Promising Polar Bear Developments: Scientists Stand Corrected
August Last Brief in Markhor I Suit Filed
August Power Outages – Shortfalls
September Success! USFWS Proposes the Downlisting & Importation of Torghar Markhor Without an ESA Import Permit
October The National Survey Shows Increase in Hunters and Big Game Hunting
October South Africa’s Protected Area Act of 2003 Hurts Wildlife & Habitats
October CIC President Bernard Lozé: “Banning Lion Hunting Endangers The Survival of Lions in the Wild!”
October Update on Our Freedom of Information Act Suits
November CITES CoP16 Proposals Published: White Rhino, Polar Bear, Elephant, Pyrenean Chamois, Leopard Permits
November Remarks of Deborah Lyons, Deputy Head of Mission, at the Inuit Delegation - Polar Bear Reception at Embassy of Canada, Washington, D.C., September 20, 2012
November 3 Amigos: USFWS Makes 90-Day Finding to Review Downlisting Those Species in USA
November PH Stu Taylor Recovery Fund Established
December Worked Elephant Ivory Tusks Not Importable: US Court Holds Import Violated Four Laws and Orders Forfeiture of Zimbabwe Elephant Tusk
December Waning Status of Hunting-Based Conservation in Botswana: Latest Developments
December Bill Poole Enshrined Into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame

Conservation Force 2011
January Court Rules No Fees Due in Permit Cases
January Delays & Revelations In Wood Bison Suit
February A Step-by-Step Guide On Who Is Responsible For What
February Billy Ray Parnell Purple Heart Program
March Wood Bison Initiative Enters Final Stage
March Lead Issue Taken to Court
March Both Markhor Cases Moving Forward
March Zambia Initiative Success
April Africa: Antis Petition Listing Of African Lion on ESA
April Success in Iran
April Scientists Recant Tipping Point Theory That Doomed the Polar Bear
April Plains Bison Listing Petition Denials
April The Osprey Filming Company
May Special Coverage On Polar Bear: Sustainable Use On Trial
June Special Coverage On Elephant Imports: Challenging The USFWS Definition of “Trophy”
July USFWS Makes Positive Markhor Finding
July New Eruption Atop Mountain of Seizures
July USFWS Enforces Validation Requirement On CITES Permits
July Pakistan Export Permits Don’t Have a Validation Section
August US District Court Denies All Challenges to Listing the Polar Bear as “Threatened”
August Permit Exclusions Eliminated for “The Three Amigos”
September Important Developments at 25th Meeting of the CITES Animals Committee
September Abusive Use of Polar Bear Drowning Misinformation
September Cheetah Import Permits Denied Again
October Special Coverage: Getting To The Root Of The Trophy Seizure Crisis – The History and Genesis Of The Problem
November District Court Denies Relief In Zambia
and Mozambique Elephant Import Suits
December Success! Zambia Elephant Import Permits Issued By USFWS
December Update on Seizure and Forfeiture Crisis

Conservation Force 2010
January Special Report: Addressing The US Trophy Seizure Crisis
February Federal Court Rules Hunters’ Interests In Trophies Not Legally Protected
March CF Creates Permanent Litigation Division
March Special Report: Conservation Force Chairman Receives International Statesman Award
March Briefly Noted
April Conservation Force Institutes Industry-Commercial Services Sponsorships
April Briefly Noted
April Dr. Dale Toweill Joins Conservation Force Board of Advisors
May Special Report: Focus On CITES CoP15
June 57th CIC General Assembly: Expanding Scope, Participation & Influence
June Briefly Noted
July The Supreme Court Invalidates Overly Broad Cruelty Law In Light of the Acceptability of Hunting
August Status of Wood Bison Suits Against USFWS
September The Important Historical Role of Hunters To Both Public and Private Land Conservation
September Pakistan: New Markhor Down-listing Petition Filed
October CBD Pushes To Ban All Lead Ammo & Fish Gear
November Important New Development in Trophy Seizure Crisis
November Anticlimactic Polar Bear Court Hearing
December A Tool For Lion Hunters: The Pocket Guide To Aging Lions
December Polar Bear Listing Cases Status
December St. Petersburg Hosts 58th CIC General Assembly

Conservation Force 2009
January 2008 In Review Bio-political Developments
February Crisis Over Trophies In Transit Resolved
February Two Important Legal Actions
March Lion Campaign Kicks Off In The Nick of Time
March Polar Bear Update: Law Suit Sets New Precedent On Listings
March Briefly Noted
April "Challenges and Solutions for the Conservation of Lions and Other Large Carnivores in Sub-Saharan Africa" February 17th-18th Maroua, Cameroon
May Trophy Seizures & Forfeiture Crisis: Problems and Resolutions
May Briefly Noted
June Cheetah & Black-faced Impala Permits Denied
June Briefly Noted
July National Action Plans Save Lion Initiative
July Briefly Noted
August Tanzania To Enforce Age Limits On Trophy Lions
August Three Antelope Case A Win For Conservation
August Briefly Noted
September The Unrealized Potential of Conservation Hunting
September North America: Latest Developments On Polar Bear
October Mozambique: Niassa Elephant Trophy
November Africa: Suit Filed Over Zambia Elephant Import Permits
November Arctic: USF&WS Proposes CITES Uplist Polar Bear
November Polar Bear Lawsuits Challenging the Listing Decision
December Special Report: African Lion Spared the CITES Axe, For Now
December Bill Poole: “A Lion of a Man”
December Special Report: CITES Proposals for CoP15, March 2010

Conservation Force 2008
January CITES: Trophy Importation Crisis Averted For Now
January Polar Bear Developments
February Conservation News Developments
March Breaking News On Argali Draws
April Polar Bear Decision: Some Thoughts About That Continuing Delay
April CAMEROON: All About The New CAMNARES Program
May Conversation Force to Intervene
May Briefly Noted
June Polar Bear Listing: Assessing The Impact And Mapping A Way Forward
June CITES: Trophy Importation Crisis Averted For Now
August Update On Kashmir Markhor
August Polar Bear Imports: Immediate Ban Upheld
August A Word About The Bob Kern Trial
September Study Analyzes Work Of NGO’s In African Wildlife Conservation
September Tanzania: Elephant Permit Crisis Averted
September Briefly Noted
October New Efforts To Reverse The Polar Bear Listing
October USF&WS Seizing Some Utilitarian Trophy Items
November Nation-by-Nation Plans To Save African Lion
November Hunting For Truth: Why Rationalizing The Ritual Must Fail
November Briefly Noted
November USF&WS Trophy Regs Still Wreaking Havoc
November Leadership, People and Science
December USF&WS Trophy Regs Still Wreaking Havoc
December Briefly Noted

Conservation Force 2007
January Largest Hunting Development in the World
January Philippe Chardonnet Elected to Conservation Force Board
January PHASA AGM: An On-Site Report
February Polar Bear and Trophy Imports Both In Jeopardy
March A Second Threat to Polar Bear Import
March Guide To Aging Lions Is Now Available
March Briefly Noted
April Understanding The Issues And Proposals
April Our Polar Bear Comment: A Report
June Namibia: Help Is Available On Seized Leopards
June Belgrade: All About The Latest CIC General Assembly
June Special Report: New Conservation DVD Is Getting Attention
June CITES Meeting: The Latest Developments
June What Do You Say To A Liberal Intellectual Who Has Never Hunted?
July What Really Happened at CITES COP14 In The Hague
August Markhor Import Denial Raises Big Questions
September White House Orders National Hunting Conference
October Reflections On 10 Years Of Conservation Force
October Bear Listing Proposal: USGS Releases Reports
November Petitions to Free Siezed Trophies Successful
November Polar Bear Crisis Heats Up
November Briefly Noted
December Important Development in Markhor Conservation
December A Commentary On The National Geographic Article About “Hunters: For Love of the Land”

Conservation Force 2006
January Highlights of 2005
February Protectionist File Suit To List All Polar Bear Under the Endangered Species Act
March ESA Listing Pending Polar Bear Crisis Is Growing
April The Real Significance If Polar Bear Are Listed
May One Important Nonresident Rights Case Continues
June Comment On “Draft Norms & Standards for the Regulations of the Hunting Industry in South Africa
July Symposium May Affect The Future Of Hunting; Progress Reported On Black Faced Impala
August Assessing The Impact Of Interior Dept. Turnover
September Mozambique Elephant Trophy Import Permit Applications Denied
October BC Bear Report And “Stricter Domestic Measures:” An Analysis Of The Connections
November UK Meetings Focus On Hunting/Conservation
December Wildlife ‘Compact’ Has Downsides / Gala Tanzania Banquet / Last Nonresident Suit

Conservation Force 2005
January The End of Nonresident Hunting Rights
February African Elephant Downlisted to Vulnerable
March Southwest Alaska Profile In Conservation
April The Truth About That Polar Bear Petition
May The Legally Structured Role of Hunting and Fishing in the US and Abroad
June Nonresidents Stripped of Constitutional Rights in Congress
July Black Rhino Hunting Development
August Elephant Hunting Is Fully Open In Zambia / Getting A Handle On “Sustainable Use”
September Russia: The “Real Skinny On That Hunting Closure
October Hurricane Katrina Threatens Conservation Force
October USFW&S Denies Permits For Black-Faced Impala
November First African Lion Workshops Are Successful; IUCN Polar Bear Listing Upgraded
December US Lists New Foreign Species As Endangered

Conservation Force 2004
January Permits To Import Certain Endangered Species Understanding That Draft Trophy Import Policy Change
February Musings of an Old Hunter
March Giant Saltwater Crocodile Hunting May Open
April Who Said What: A Compendium Of Comments
May African Lion Targeted At CITES Meeting
June The Truth About Senator John Kerry
June Two Hunters’ Legacies
July Argali Suit Finally Finished: Positive Gains
July Case Study of a Man-Eating Lion Killing 35 People
September Cats/Canids Bill Introduced; NRA To Push Hunting; Important CITES COP 13 Developments
October Will Lion Hunting Survive? And More....
November What Really Happened At COP13
December More To Come On African Lion

Conservation Force 2003
January On The Legal Front Gun Rights… Nonresident Permits… Trophy Imports
February Conservation of the African Lion: Contribution to a Status Survey
March A Reflection on Positive Developments
April DATELINE: WASHINGTON, DC, News Analysis, The Argali Case: Court, Hears Mongolia's Appeal
May Conservation News Briefs - A Special Tribute To Gunbearers
June What You Need To Know About Trophy Imports
July Insights From Wildlife Conflict Studies, A Different Perspective For Problem Solving
August How Many Hunters Are There, Really?
September The Antis’ Argali Suit Has Been Dismissed
October Update On The Argali Case
November The Political Future
December Antis Tell Court They Would Rather See Elephants Euthanized Than in a Zoo

Conservation Force 2002
January The Truth About That British Columbia Grizzly Bear “Ban”
February DATELINE: WASHINGTON, DC - Cameroon Elephant Permits Denied
March SPECIAL REPORT - New USF & WS Director
April The Saga of the Saiga
May The Role And Value Of Hunting
June On The Legal Front Gun Rights… Nonresident Permits… Trophy Imports
July Special Report: The Argali Suit - Part I
August Special Report: A Preview Of COP 12
September Zimbabwe Hunting Will Continue – But Zimbabwe Needs You Now
October Understanding Trophy Hunting: A Powerful Conservation Tool
November London March to Save Hunting Breaks All Records
December Santiago, Chile - What Really Happened At CITES COP 12

Conservation Force 2001
March Idaho Approves Nonresident Moose Hunting: A Practical Lesson In Our Democracy
April Special Report On Hunting Why We Do It; Its Conservation Benefits
May Antis Sue To Stop All Argali Trophy Imports
June The Very Latest On That Argali Suit
July Why We Hunt: - Two Important Perspectives
August The Animal Rights 2001 Conference - Terrorism And A Radical Agenda At A Hilton Hotel
September Legal Matters - Update On The Argali Lawsuit
October DATELINE: WASHINGTON Mongolia, Others Denied Role In Argali Lawsuit
November DATELINE: WASHINGTON, DC - European Trophy Crisis Is Narrowly Averted
December People And Predators. Can They Live Together?

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