Botswana Confirms End of Tourist Hunting in 2014
By Barbara Crown, Editor
In our November 1 Email Extra Bulletin, we told Hunting Report subscribers that President of Botswana Ian Khama had announced during a campaign stop that all commercial hunting would end come 2014. That was despite a recently announced extension of elephant hunting leases through 2013.
Speculation by the hunting community, and perhaps hope, was that Khama made the statements as part of politicking efforts, as he was also offering villagers 100 percent compensation for any damages caused by elephants to crops or by lions to cattle herds. Compensation had previously been capped at 30 percent, and the area Khama was visiting was known for supporting the opposition party.
Unfortunately, Khama went on to make the same announcement about suspending commercial hunting (tourist hunting) in his State of the Nation Address on November 5. It is item number 124 in his speech and is couched in statements about increased poaching. Click on the link below to read it yourself. Also, on November 29, The Hunting Report received a press release from the Botswana Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, which states that hunting quotas will not be issued in 2014. The press release goes on to claim that sharp declines in species subject to licensed hunting has lead to this decision, implying that licensed hunting is the culprit for game declines when elephant numbers in Botswana are at an all-time high and continue to increase each year at a rate of seven percent. That continued growth has lead to habitat degradation in riverine areas and in turn has forced other game out. You can click on the link below to read the release in full.