By Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief
I spent some time at the SCI convention discussing lion hunting in Zambia with Gavin Robinson, the new chairman of the Professional Hunters Association of Zambia (PHAZ). Robinson told me that Zambia made some major changes to lion regulations in 2016, with new aging rules going into effect to help the country meet the US Fish & Wildlife Service's (FWS) requirements to issue import permits. Also, the nationwide quota has gone from 46 lions to about 26, according to PHAZ. Zambia also has a quota of 60 leopards among 22 areas.
Operators must submit all lion trophies to Zambia's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DPNW) for measurement within two months of the hunt along with the completed trophy size record form documenting specific measurements, the GPS of the kill and PH, operator and client information. They must also provide six photos of the trophy showing a side view of the entire body; head, neck and shoulder shots, including mane development; the face and frontal view of the teeth and nose. The DPNW then ages the lion before it may be shipped to clients, much like it is done in Tanzania. Lion hunts are a minimum of 14 days. PHs must also submit lion sighting forms.
Under the new guidelines female lions and leopards, and male lions under the age of four may not be hunted and are not exportable if taken. PHs and concession holders/operators face penalties for illegal offtake, including stiff fines and license suspensions or cancellations, plus withdrawals of unmet lion quotas for the rest of the season and suspension of quotas for the following year....