Opinion

Why being hunted is good for Africa’s lions

Photo of Larry Rudolph & Joe Hosmer
Larry Rudolph & Joe Hosmer
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      Larry Rudolph & Joe Hosmer

      Larry Rudolph is the President of Safari Club International. Joe Hosmer is the President of Safari Club International Foundation.

This week, a coalition of animal rights activists filed a petition with the Department of Interior to list African lions as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act — their latest attempt to impose restrictions on hunters. As usual, the activists use sensationalized, emotional messaging that has nothing to do with the science of wildlife conservation.

Hunters and hunting actually benefit Africa’s lions — as well as its humans. Revenues from hunting generate $200 million annually in remote rural areas of Africa. This revenue gives wildlife value and humans protect the revenue by protecting the wildlife.

Placing African lions on the Endangered Species List will effectively end hunting of the animal. When the conservation and financial incentives that hunting provides are lost or mismanaged, the value local communities place on the sustainability of lion populations greatly diminishes. This leads to humans killing lions as a result of human-lion conflict.

For example, in lion range states where hunting has been banned, cattle herders are using snares and deadly pesticides to poison and kill lions in high numbers in the interest of protecting their own livelihoods. Other resident wildlife also falls to snares and poisons that target lions.

Human-wildlife conflict is a consistent threat across lion range, but people better tolerate coexisting with lions when lions have an economic value. Ending hunting in countries that currently allow it could spell the end of responsible management of lion populations.

Through adaptive management, governments set hunting regulations that are non-detrimental to the health and survival of the game species populations, specifically for lions, as this species generates huge economic revenues for rural communities. Hunting is the most successful tool for maintaining incentives to conserve lions.

We are proud to say that Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a true leader in the conservation movement. From the restoration of America’s forests and wildlife at the beginning of the 20th century to the many conservation success stories in Africa today, it has been hunters who have provided the resources to make these successes possible.

SCIF is committed to science-based African lion conservation. We assist lion range states in completing national lion management plans, which allow governments to manage populations in a safe, sustainable manner. Management plans target the immediate threats to lions and provide conservation strategies aimed at addressing these threats. To date, we have assisted Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in developing their national plans, and have funded the publication of Namibia’s and Zambia’s national lion management plan. SCIF also assisted the regional conservation strategies coauthored by IUCN, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the African Lion Working Group, among other partners.

SCIF also hosts the African Wildlife Consultative Forum, where Southern African nations come together annually to discuss wildlife management issues of mutual concern. African Lion issues have been a feature for several meetings, especially approaches to lion management and human-lion conflict resolution.

As hunters, we stand together to help conserve wildlife and protect our hunting heritage. The persistent misinformation campaigns of extremist animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States and the International Fund for Animal Welfare portray hunters as the enemy, when hunters are truly the greatest stewards of our wildlife.

Larry Rudolph is the President of Safari Club International. Joe Hosmer is the President of Safari Club International Foundation.

  • budpg

    toomuchinfo-
    Of course you disagree- and I’m sure you have no problem with the organizations like SCI that condone lactating female lions being led away from her cubs so some US douchebag looking for a slice of the wild Africa can shoot her in a small 15 by 10 enclosure. Your post made no sense whatsoever. The good news is we are trying to isolate the defective gene pool that makes people like you so pathetic! Hunters by nature care little about conservation, trophy hunters even worse. It’s all about competing against the redneck next door that has a bigger trophy room than you- the rarer the animal the better

    • toomuchinfo

      Check under Mengele when working on your gene pool research, you facist dullard. Do you know what male lions do to the cubs when they take over the pride? You’re a nut job, that knows not of what he speaks. Assign property rights, and the lions will do fine. Do you remember what almost happened to the bison? Nobody owned them.

      • toomuchinfo
      • budpg

        Typical- ignore the facts and then make a nonsensical point about ownership and property rights. Did you misplace your Mr Potato Head? You must be a SH*&bagger. Lions are not doing fine douchebag, Africa is capable of protecting it’s wildlife without the FU$%^ Vampires at SCI butting in to stake their claim on Africa’s natural resources.
        “They practice a socially conscious sadism at SCI. Ethics at Safari Club is ordered libertinism, like teaching cannibals to use a table napkin and not take the last portion.”
        Maybe you are related to Mr Rudolph. If not make an appointment with his secretary and tell her you want to jerk him off

        • toomuchinfo

          Africa isn’t capable of anything except death and piracy, moron! Aids and terrorism are it’s main exports. You just hate it when rich people have all the fun. I know, it kind of makes me jealous to see Charlie tearing it up. But then I think of what’s best for the lions, and tigers and bears, and I’m okay again.

          It’ll be okay, you’ll see. Soon the libertine hunters will be driving around with live Leos hanging out of their Humvees, and you’ll be crying about the Moon-tree grasshopper, or some f^cking thing. And you should go spend some time with Siegfreid and Roy. I hear they’re looking for a new handler. You guys can ride off into the sunset, and have a happy ending together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rudi-Strubbe/1505737707 Rudi Strubbe

    This article reflects the typical, mythical nonsense that hunters try to have people believing world-wide.

    The facts are simple:
    1. The African Lion as a free roaming animal is becoming an endangered species through no other cause than trophy hunting today.
    2. Hunters world-wide are either indifferent to the environment that they abuse or manage it, not in view of enhancing its natural value (wealth of species, conservation of species that are less adapted to pressure of human “civilisation”, etc…) but solely with the view of “harvesting”. That has nothing to do with conservation management and is usually detrimental to exactly those aspects that real environmentalists seek to preserve.
    3. Similar or higher proceeds can be reaped locally through “peaceful” tourism. I don’t need to shoot a majestic animal to prove (to whom?) that I’m a man. I find great joy in trying to record the greatness of the live animal on photo and find that there are many people visiting reserves in Africa for that same reason.

    (Trophy) Hunters are not the solution that they claim to be. At the very best they are not the exclusive problem, but they are always and inevitably (part of) the problem. Whether they shoot free roaming lions (which is the more problematic, as these animals are getting extinct) or hand-raised lions in canned hunting farms (which is of a depravity only matched by the holocaust, trophy hunting sucks!
    The same can be said of so-called journalism that allows itself to be used as an accomplice by the powerful hunting lobby…
    To toomuchinformation”: you are as much a humanist as say Rudolf Hess was. Try starting with a bit of basic ethics before you ventilate something that should pass as an opinion and – above all – try some humility, both towards “dumb” libs and “dumb” animals …

    • toomuchinfo

      What a dope! And a rude one, at that! Your diatibe is against hunting, private reserves are just an excuse to vent your gall. A lot of free range lions and tigers get killed by villagers who don’t want their children eaten. Do you hate the Masaii warriors who kill lions surreptitously now that twits like you have outlawed their way of life?

      You’re just a little kid in a fantasy world, like most dumb libs. Maybe we should let grizzly bears roam free again in San Francisco and cull out the weak and stupid from the humans.

      And calling me a Nazi? Wow, who’d of seen that coming. Way to keep it civil. Next time try humor. I don’t mind name calling if it’s witty and urbane. You’re neither. Go take a picture of yourself, and mail it to a school in Africa, so they can play pin the tail on the jack ass.

  • budpg

    Anyone that wants to know the real motivations of Safari club International should read the book “DOMINION” by Matthew Scully. These trophy hunters fail to tell you that trophy hunting and the importation of lion trophies and parts is the single biggest reason for lion declines in Africa. Many wealthy SCI members also own wildlife preserves, commonly called canned hunting ranches, where semi tame hand fed animals are killed by so called hunters to satisfy their perverse desire to collect trophies. Don’t believe them they are bogus- it’s all about having access to the animals to kill. How would they be able to sleep at night after having their polar bear trophies taken away? Go on google and put in Ken Behring kills rare Tara Gau Argali sheep and read how this high ranking member of SCI bribed officials in a Russian country to kill a sheep when there were 100 of them on the planet and then made a 20 million dollar donation to the Smithsonian sothey would be able to get the trophy back into the states. The trophy is STILL to this day in a Canadian taxidermist shop!

    • toomuchinfo

      Sorry, Bud, I disagree. Anything that brings rich guys to poor areas, is good for the starving poor folk. I’m a humanist, so I tend to put my species above the others. In the age of cloning, I don’t think we’re going to lose any tigers and bears, and if some putz wants to shoot something so he can walk taller, so be it.

      Admittedly, I’m not big on shooting dumb animals, unless their trying to pawn Global Warming or socialized health on us. Disclaimer to dumb libs: Not an endorsement to shoot anyone. Satire.

      • thissitesux

        Humanism isn’t about putting your species above others. Humanism is using reason as a basis for morality instead of religion or the supernatural.

        Cloning isn’t necessary to replenish a population. Artificial fertilization is sufficient. You don’t need to make an exact genetic copy of the organism.

        You are just overreaching to make all of your arguments. In doing so you show that you know very little about what you are attempting to talk about. That seems to be a trend here.

        And anything that brings rich guys to poor areas is good for the starving poor folk? Please. The only reason a rich guy would want to go to a poor area is to exploit and make more money.

        Disclaimer to toomuchinfo: Get your GED first before you make any more posts that highlight your ignorance to facts and general knowledge.

        • toomuchinfo

          The Huff Pi have landed. Enjoy the ride, everyone. These guys are wacky!

          • budpg

            Don’t be upset, after you order a new Mr Potato head you’ll be fine. Don’t forget the crayons

        • toomuchinfo

          “The only reason a rich guy would want to go to a poor area is to exploit and make more money”

          Wow, you’re a regular Adam Smith.

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