According to John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force, a consultant is working with the DNPW to address the hurdles created by the lion listing. Conservation Force's Marco Pani attended a workshop on lion conservation in Lusaka this month to help set quotas and regulations on age restrictions.
In the Final Rule on the Endangered Species Act listing of African lion the USFWS identified habitat loss, human-lion conflict and loss of prey base as the main threats to lion. These are all issues that sustainable hunting can address through habitat preservation, community-based conservation and anti-poaching. Ostensibly, the listing of lions will help enforce these benefits. Agents and lion operators, however, have said that the listing has created immediate difficulties for conservation.
Nathan Askew of Bullet Safaris (www.bulletsafaris.com) says, "Our efforts have essentially been hamstrung by the USFWS. It is not reasonable to ask governments in developing countries to conform to the policies in such a short period of time, and it suggests that the best interests of lion conservation weren't being taken into account. A lot of prime habitat depends on the money from hunting dangerous game. Obviously we need to have good, sustainable hunting programs, but the listing may be overly problematic. We'll have to wait and see how it goes down."
Agent Wes Hixon of Wes Hixon's Outdoor Adventures and Travel (www.weshixon.com) expressed that the listing will be a disappointment for Zambia. "Zambia has worked diligently on their end to address lion hunting and to reopen lion with a sound strategy, and now they are having additional barriers to face for the reopened season."
The Hunting Report has heard reports........(continued)