Just as The Hunting Report was going to press, news broke that Botswana had announced a ban on "all" hunting. The news broke on the online media outlets Mmegionline and eTurboNews. You can read their stories yourself, but they state that the Government of Botswana is in the process of banning hunting throughout the country in favor of photographic safaris. The reason given is a "catastrophic" loss of species populations over the last 15 years, as shown by a study conducted by Dr. Mike Chase of Elephants without Borders. The articles go on to list some of the species, all of which are plains game species no longer on quota in any hunting concessions. Elephant is conspicuous by its absence in the articles. That's because elephant in Botswana continue to increase in population, and quotas for these animals have been increased. In fact, additional permits have come up for auction two years in a row now. Continuing subscribers will remember that I warned last February (Article 2593) that plains game hunting soon would be available only on private hunting ranches in Botswana because of the quota cuts for those species. I also warned that elephant hunting would technically be closed as well, but not in reality because it would continue under special dispensation as "elephant management." Contracts and rights of concessions would continue under the new elephant management plan with operators receiving quotas for elephant. I checked in with the Botswana Wildlife Association, the country's hunting association, to make sure nothing had changed and to get their perspective on the latest news stories out there. They were in contact with government representatives who were preparing a statement of clarification, as the information reported in the stories was, I'm told, taken out of context and inaccurately presented. "It is important to note, that the trend in declines is for species that we don't hunt any longer, and the species we do hunt are on the increase!" I was told.
After this issue of The Hunting Report went to our printer, I received a statement from the Botswana Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism........(continued)