Safari Club International notes the recent media reports on the hunting of a lion in Zimbabwe.
Although we are still awaiting information on this subject, it is our current understanding that this lion was taken in accordance with Zimbabwe law.
Lion hunting and the hunting of other African wildlife, when carried out legally and sustainably, provide an important wildlife management and conservation tool to the range countries responsible for those animal populations.
“Independent scientists and conservationists, such as Oxford University and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, support legal lion hunting as a component of conservation,” said SCI President-elect Steve Skold.
“Safari Club International (SCI) and its sister organization, the Safari Club International Foundation, are actively involved with efforts of the wildlife management authorities of the governments where lions occur, supporting their research and management programs to conserve lions,” Skold explained. “Lion hunting improves human tolerance of lions and provides critical support for government conservation programs.
“The professional hunters and outfitters who arrange hunts for African wildlife serve as the most important front-line fighters in the battle against commercially motivated poaching of lions and other iconic wildlife. Wildlife conservation is about science and not emotion. As members of the hunting community, we care about the natural world and we put our money and our work into effective and scientifically supported conservation so that we and all who enjoy wildlife will be able to continue to do so far into the future,” Skold said.
The following links provide more information about the many ways SCI and SCI Foundation are involved in the conservation of lions, as well as other wildlife.
Ten years ago, a seminal scientific paper suggested that lion hunting could be conducted sustainably if only lion males over a minimum age of five years were targeted. Recognizing that field aging of wild lions is difficult and in order to buffer against selection error, the ideal minimum was conservatively raised to six years. And so, the concept of age-based trophy selection to promote sustainable lion hunting was born. Continue reading The Truth in the Tooth – Using Science to Judge Lion Ages in the Field→
From the outside looking in, a non-hunter might find it hard to comprehend. What needs to be understood is that hunters have a deep care and passion for the animals they pursue to ensure that a healthy population of that resource remains.
Hunters commit a large amount of resources and time to help promote species of game to sustainable levels to be able to pursue them for hunting.
The impact of hunters on the African lion has become a hot button issue, to say the least, over the past few years. What should be a discussion based on science has turned into an emotionally charged topic.
Hunting has proven to bring large amounts of money to many African countries. These hunters not only help support the local economies, but also help protect and promote local wildlife. In the Keeping the Lions Share Report, from 2008 to 2011, hunters generated $75 million for Tanzania’s economy alone.
But when it comes to the African lion itself, hunters have again stepped up to the plate to continue to conserve them with science based management and on-the-ground efforts with antipoaching.
Since 2007, Safari Club International has spent over $1.1 million in research efforts, including lion population surveys in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Studies conducted also researched genetics and health of local wildlife populations. Providing key information to wildlife officials and biologists is essential to ensure science-based decisions are made in conservation.