Pilanesberg, we must not forget , is only 55 000 hectares (200 square miles) in extent and there are severe limitations with regards what a wildlife manager can do with it. ‘Conservation management’ implies consideration for ‘wise and sustainable use’ (as prescribed by the World Conservation Strategy 1980); and ‘preservation management’ implies ‘protection from all harm’. South Africa is currently experimenting with a new and constructive way of controlling the hunting of leopards involving, inter alia, dividing the country up into leopard-range blocks and allocating one huntable leopard per year per unit-block. Because of its adapted retinas, leopards can see seven times better in the dark than humans. The Scientific Authority made the […] When survival stakes are all that a man in Africa has to think about, which will be the case by 2100, he will not grow beautiful flowers in his garden. fair chase, no baits, no drag lines, no dogs, no shooting from the safety of a blind, no shooting from the safety or from the back of a high railed cruiser, as seen on Leopard attack, where our leopard is blasted away after being chased by a pack of dogs in Botswana. Seeing Leopard in the Greater Kruger, South Africa. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. You all seem to use the word HUNT, when it comes to killing of big cats for fun. 4, max. Their policy objectives are different to the policy objectives that you and I strove to achieve. Man requires the same things to survive that wild animals need to survive. And because it is illegal to kill a leopard in most parts of Africa, the farmers avoid conflict with the authorities by simply applying the “Triple-S Solution” to their perceived leopard problems: They “Shoot, Shovel and Shut-up”. Daily Mail. But poorly regulated trophy hunting (commonly driven by profiteering and corruption) does little to ensure there is any sustainability of the target species; hunting might ‘save’ habitat by default, but not the inhabitants, with no discernible ‘best practice’ that gives priority for scientifically verifiable sustainability/conservation as trophy hunting’s core aim. Situated along the Western border of the world-famous Kruger National Park is a series of private game reserves. Locals poison and kill these animals to keep them from killing their flock animals, I understand their side of it, but they live in Africa !!!! But leopards are a unique challenge: unlike other apex predators in South Africa, 62% of their known range is outside protected areas. There are some things they have to put up with, like we have to put up with traffic ect. Wildlife in South Africa is abundant, with almost 300 mammal species.. Data generated from the South African Leopard Monitoring Project suggest an 8% decline in the national population per year, and significant declines in leopard density have been observed in five out of 18 sites surveyed in 2017. During the 1980’s and 1990’s we had a hunting operation in Pilanesberg and during that time I was a manager in the Parks system and also a Professional Hunter and I hunted extensively in the Parks system with overseas paying hunting clients for 12 years. Found throughout South Africa with concentrations in most National Parks, provincial reserves, protected and inaccessible areas. So any action to impose a management strategy. Fish & Wildlife Service Re: The Zimbabwean Elephant Trophy Ban, Controversy Surrounding Hunting, The Captive Breeding of Lions and The Hunting of Captive-Bred Lions, in South Africa. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Wildlife ACT is officially contracted by the international wild cat organisation, Panthera, to conduct Leopard population surveys within South Africa. Conservation. The sovereign states of southern Africa, therefore, look forward to the FWS helping them, and not to hindering them, on their wildlife management journey into the future. Required fields are marked *. But more elephants were brought in after I left. This represents a 6.5x rate of increase in 100 years. This is the amazing moment two leopards were captured falling from a tree during a mid-air tussle. Learn how your comment data is processed. Even South Africa’s Chinese population of half-a-million is still dwarfed by the 700,000-strong population that is living in Ghana, a country in the West African region where an unusually large quantity of pangolin scales are being found, an indication of the staggering number of the endangered mammals being killed and consumed. It should be noted that SCI and its ilk, promote leopard trophy killing as a badge of honour, not as any scientifically proven, altruistic endeavour, but encourages the taking of leopards and other big cats as a ‘must have’ for any worthy hunter seeking peer group acceptance/recognition. Leopards are currently found in 18 countries across Africa. And pre-emptive killings, which are the most damaging to local leopard populations, STOP. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Threats to leopards vary. If the African leopard is (or indeed all leopard species are) placed on the ESA, then this will curtail American trophy hunters from ‘legally’ importing leopard trophies from leopard hunts. He, therefore, competes with wild animals in the global survival stakes; and if society does not write this fact into its wildlife management equations, whatever man does to prevent the extinction of wild species today, will become of no consequence tomorrow. These big cats are of no value to rural folk. The leopard, the smallest of the Panthera family of cats, is a shy creature that tends to carry out most of its activities after dusk – which makes night time safari drives all the more exciting! In response to a petition received by the American US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), suggesting that the Service should reclassify the leopard’s status throughout its range, from ‘threatened’ to ‘endangered’, in terms of the American Endangered Species Act (ESA), on 20 December 2017 the Service issued a document (ID: FWS-HQ-WS-2016-0131-0742) entitled “Endangered and Threatened Species: 90-Day Findings for Five Species”. Whilst numerous places offer up close and personal moments with elephant, lions … Environmental Affairs sets provincial leopard trophy hunting quotas at zero. But leopards are a unique challenge: unlike other apex predators in South Africa, 62% of their known range is outside protected areas. Under this sustained use of a natural resource and wise management, the Leopard population stabilised and was healthy in numbers. That makes the American ESA a false foundation for any kind of wildlife management deliberation or action. The IUCN Red List leopard population data that does exist (despite the potential flaws outlined at the start of my comments) indicate that across sub-Saharan Africa, a decline of over 30% has been noted over the past 25 years, with some 67% of the leopards’ historic range lost. Leopards live all over the world in zoos and national parks, but most of their wild populations can be found in Africa and India. Your email address will not be published. Hunting and tourism zones were created in Pilanesberg and, due to the park’s mountainous nature, they were easily kept separate. Although leopards are listed as endangered and anyone in South Africa owning a pelt should apply for a licence from the local wildlife authority, Mr Dickerson said many do not come forward. There are several animal species that are among the world’s tallest, fastest or even tiniest animals such as the majestic giraffe, the speedy cheetah or the tiny pygmy shrew.. 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