Early last month the decision by Ethiopian authorities was to double all license fees for the 2009/2010 season with immediate effect. That means a mountain nyala will now cost you $10,000 and a Menelik's bushbuck is $4,000. Other important license fees are as follows: lesser kudu $3,000; greater kudu $2,700; Soemmering's gazelle $2,000; Beisa oryx $2,000; gerenuk $3,000; leopard $4,600; lion $4,000. But hold the phone, because after July 2010, when the next season's quota takes effect, it is very likely that all those fees will go up to the originally proposed 300 percent mark, making a mountain nyala $15,000 and a Menelik's bushbuck $6,000. The licenses will be issued as usual, payable in advance and non-refundable if you do not take an animal.
I spoke with Fetene Hailu Buta of the EWCA, last month during a symposium we were both attending in Windhoek, Namibia on the economic and ecological benefits of hunting. (More on this symposium next month.) I asked him about the price increases in Ethiopia, and he informed me that the increase had actually been suggested four years ago but had been tabled while the EWCA conducted a complete review of its wildlife regulations and hunting programs. The increase is not something they decided to implement overnight. He says the increases and other changes in the regulations are designed to increase the conservation value of mountain nyala, a species huntable only in Ethiopia, along with the other endemic game there. By........(continued)