International Hunter's Recources


Why Wire Snares are Wasteful
03/18/2006

Wire snaring is a wasteful poaching technique. Despite the misconception that modern firearms have worsened poaching losses, snaring can kill far more animals. Wire is cheaper and more readily available than bullets. It is also more indiscriminate. Unlike a chance encounter, snares can block every trail, 24 hours. The poacher who sets the snare, unlike a firearm hunter, does not know when he has taken an animal or how many. Often poachers don’t even remember the location of their snares. Frequently, poachers only find skin and bones because vultures and predators have learned to find snared animals first.

 

African Elephant Downlisted to Vulnerable

The IUCN has downlisted the continental population of African elephant from "endangered" to "vulnerable". That is the lowest threatened category on the IUCN Red List. Elephant remain in one of the three threatened Red List categories (critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable) for the technical reason that some of the "major causes for its decline in the past, such as habitat loss due to human population expansion, have not ceased and may not be reversible." This is an overall continent-wide assessment, not a regional assessment of its status. The "vulnerable" assessment became final at the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress in Bangkok in November 2004 attended by both yours truly and Shane Mahoney on behalf of Conservation Force.

The reassessment of the status transpired over the past two years. It was begun in 2002 by the African Elephant Specialist Group (AESG) of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The African Elephant Specialist Group is one of more than 120 Specialist Groups of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. That Specialist Group is comprised of over 45 select scientists and wildlife conservation practitioners from all over sub-Saharan Africa. It is by far the most knowledgeable and expert authority on the overall status of the African elephant. 

The total estimated African elephant population is 660,000, according to the Specialist Group. The overall population numbers are estimated to be 173,000 greater than in the 1998 Report, yet nearly 45 percent of the estimated range of the elephant continues to have no population estimate. In short, there are more elephants than indicated in the 660,000 estimate.

It is explained in the assessment that "[i]t is not possible to state whether the change in the listing is due to real changes in the status of the species, to the availability of better information and/or to the use of different methods of assessment." The new assessment considered the up-to-date population figures but not the apparent trend of the continental level published in late 2003, African Elephant Status Report 2002, An Update from the African Elephant Database. Although some local trends have been reliably determined, that is not true of the continent as a whole. That Report is the latest in a series of reports derived from the African Elephant Database, which is the largest and most detailed source of information on the global distribution and abundance of any species whatsoever. "Overall, the population figures…are higher than those reported four years ago," according to that Report prepared by the African Elephant Specialist Group. "This is partly due to reported increases in major savanna elephant populations in countries such as Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, which together harbor the largest known populations in the continent."

The African Elephant Specialist Group advises that this apparent increase in elephant numbers was not itself the basis of the "vulnerable assessment" because no continental trend can be established. Even though the African Elephant Database is the largest and most detailed source of its kind in the world, it is not sufficient by itself. The Specialist Group points out that "most elephant surveys are restricted to protected areas, and it is precisely to protected areas that elephant flock when their range is compressed by expanding human populations. And a high concentration of elephants in protected areas can give a misleading impression of increasing numbers." In an IUCN press release, the Group states:

"Many other factors can lead to false impressions. ‘We now have estimates covering a much larger area than we did five years ago – and that alone can go a long way in explaining differences in numbers – but there are still huge gaps in our knowledge,’ says Blanc. The estimates presented in the AESR only cover just over half of the total area in which elephants may still occur, and repeated assessments of the status of elephant populations in these unsurveyed areas need to be made before an accurate picture of changes in elephant numbers over time can emerge."

The fact that African elephants are still listed in one of the three Red List threatened risk categories is because of both the population decline in the past, though "there are no credible estimates for a continental population prior to the late 1970’s", and because of the increasing human populations leading to high levels of human-elephant conflict and increasing fragmentation of elephant range. "Habitat loss and competition for resources between people and elephants remain amongst the foremost challenges in elephant conservation today," according to the Specialist Group. This important human-elephant conflict occurs primarily beyond the borders of protected areas where most elephant surveys are conducted and where safari hunting can play a more direct role in elephant conservation.

The new Red Listing reclassification does not rest upon any present threat from legal or illegal trade. It is not because of licensed, regulated hunting, nor poaching, bush meat trade or subsistence harvest. It is the result of illegal trade over a decade ago combined with the continuing and irreversible expansion of civilization. How well the African elephant fares in the future largely depends upon how well we address the human-elephant conflict that animal rightists and protectionists do not want to even acknowledge. That is where programs like CAMPFIRE, CHOBE ENCLAVE Conservation Trust, and the Cullman & Hurt Community Wildlife Project play their vital roles.

Botswana has 143,000 elephants, which is the largest known population in Africa. Elephant numbers are expanding there at a continued rate of about six percent per annum. The elephant range in northern Botswana is expanding westward into areas of the Okavango where elephants had not been seen for many years according to the Specialist Group.

Tanzania is second with an elephant estimate of 130,500. Its highest population is in the Selous Game Reserve, 40,000 (± 11,500) and outside, immediately surrounding the Selous, 18,000 (± 9,000). The Specialist Group states that Tanzania has "one of the most extensive wildlife monitoring programmes on the continent … (and) one of the highest proportions of protected area coverage in the world. Twelve national parks, 34 game reserves, and 38 game control areas grant varying degrees of effective protection to 28 percent of the country’s land area."

Zimbabwe is third with 96,000 elephants. Its elephant population also continues to increase. The largest sub-population is in Hwange National Park, 44,510 (± 5,800). Zimbabwe’s second largest population is the Zambezi Valley, 19,000 (± 2,500).

The new "vulnerable" assessment can be viewed at http://www.redlist. org/search/details.php?species= 12392. The most recent African Elephant Status Report 2002 containing distribution maps and population data separately in each area of each country can be viewed at http://www.iucn. org/afesq/aed/index.html. Those booking elephant hunts may wish to view the area they are to hunt. It is free of charge. Hard copies can be purchased through http://iucn.org/bookstore. Ask for Occasional Paper No. 29, African Elephant Status Report 2002.

 

Will Lion Hunting Survive? And More....

When you read this I will probably still be at CITES’ 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) in Bangkok, Thailand. The game species at issue there will include black rhino, leopard, crocodile, elephant and African lion. My next bulletin (November) will have a full report on this important Conference of the Parties.

Kenya’s proposal to list the African lion on Appendix I is, of course, the greatest threat to the hunting community at this Conference of the Parties. We have expended every possible effort to defeat this proposal, which has come under a great deal of attack. In response to those attacks, Kenya has simply amended its proposal to address some of the points raised and stubbornly persisted. Kenya has been fortified by the Species Survival Network (SSN), a coalition of protectionist and animal rights organizations led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The SSN is circulating a "Fact Sheet" on the African Lion that fully supports the Kenya lion proposal. HSUS, of course, along with the Fund for Animals, IFAW and other members of SSN, are against all forms of sporthunting but they don’t mention that. Their position mimics Kenya’s, or vice versa:

"An Appendix I listing will not prevent trophy hunting from taking place, but may assist in ensuring stricter regulation of this activity, encouraging more detailed research into the wild status of lions, and the sustainability of lion trophy hunting…. Appendix I listing would also encourage importing Parties, prior to issuing an import permit, to ensure that trade in lion trophies will not be detrimental to the survival…." (SSN "AFRICAN LION FACT SHEET") 

We are proud to report that those opposing the Kenya proposal have been relying upon the Chardonnet lion population study, which is Conservation Force’s population study of the African lion. That study is of 144 separate populations across Africa, in contrast to the "incomplete" estimate Kenya cites. That estimate looked at only 100 subpopulations and excluded most hunting reserves. For example, there are probably more lions in Tanzania alone than Kenya acknowledges to exist in all of Africa. Yet most of Tanzania’s lion were not included in Kenya’s figures.

Kenya carefully planned its proposal and even claims to support safari hunting. It argues that listing the lion on Appendix I and creating country-by-country safari hunting trade quotas will only cause better country-by-country management. Conservation Force has made and mailed a videotape on the lion issue to the CITES delegates. The videotape explains the Chardonnet lion status review and the unique role of safari hunting plays in lion survival. The cover letter explains the drastic consequences that would flow from an Appendix 1 listing even if the listing is accompanied by quotas for hunting trophies. Few people understand the impact of the listing and even fewer people will admit they don’t understand the effects listing will have. Conservation Force’s letter explains that the USF&WS does not honor CITES trophy quotas. We cited many examples where an Appendix 1 listing had obstructed US import of trophies, including elephant, white rhino, leopard and markhor. Kenya’s quota argument has presented a challenge, but we anticipated it and have addressed it from the inception, just as we addressed Kenya’s incorrect lion population figures. A large number of lion experts agree and align themselves with our position. 

Though Kenya and the SSN persist in arguing that there has been a drastic decline in lions, our Chardonnet study and a film we commissioned, Fate of the African Lion (see box at right), have been a critical strategy. This expensive fight will leave Conservation Force’s treasury bare. Moreover, we must host an all-of-Africa lion symposium this March if we are to stay ahead of the protectionists and animal rights interests. We most desperately need support. All contributions are tax deductible. Mail to Conservation Force, One Lakeway Center, 3900 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 1045, Metairie, LA 70002-1746….

In addition to determining the future of lion hunting, COP 13 will also separately decide whether Namibia and the Republic of South Africa can have black rhino safari hunting trophy quotas. Neither country has internally allowed black rhino trophy hunting to date. A favorable vote by CITES will no doubt provide the acceptance those two countries have desired from the world conservation community before beginning black rhino hunting. Denial of the request by the Parties of CITES will probably only delay black rhino hunting and trophy trade for now. We have been working with Namibian and South African interests on this for several years and feel that the opening of hunting and trophy trade (export-imports) is inevitable because of the groundwork that has been laid and good conservation practices of both countries. Get ready.

The Conference will also probably authorize an increase in the leopard hunting quotas in both Namibia and South Africa as both countries have requested. We have also assisted with those requests and have used Tanzania’s leopard quota request from the last conference as a model. 

Also at issue this year is a request by Namibia to downlist its Nile crocodiles to Appendix II. That request arises from Conservation Force’s initiative to import those trophies. The pending trophy import permits that we have been processing as a public service should not be necessary if those crocodile are downlisted. The US Endangered Species Act (ESA) has a special provision for species listed as "threatened" on the ESA when simultaneously listed on Appendix II of CITES, (Dingell Amendment). Namibia is doing a last-minute population survey suggested by some commenters to its proposal. That survey is expected to be completed in the nick of time. In reality, Namibia’s crocodile population is part of a larger crocodile population in that region that has already been downlisted. 

Zambia also has requested a quota for its crocodile, which the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) has not permitted to be imported for a number of years. At this point, the Secretariat of CITES (the office that administers CITES for the UN) has advised that no quota is needed because Zambia’s crocodiles have already been unconditionally downlisted to Appendix II. This opinion surprised USF&WS, which had been representing that Zambia had to renew its quota before crocodile trophy imports would be allowed. Conservation Force has formally asked USF&WS for its official position in light of the Secretariat’s statement. Zambia’s crocodiles were downlisted to Appendix II some time ago with a prescribed quota that then later expired. If the Secretariat is correct, Zambia does not need a quota and no import permit is needed for trophies unless the USF&WS chooses to be more restrictive under the ESA. This issue should be resolved at the Conference.

 

Case Study of a Man-Eating Lion Killing 35 People
08/15/2004

Dr. Rolf D. Baldus, who directs the GTZ Wildlife Program in Tanzania, just completed a case study of lions killing 35 people in 8 villages in the Rufiji District within 20 months. No, this is not a Ghost in the Darkness. It surpasses the Tsalvo man-eaters which killed 28 people in 1898-99 portrayed in that movie. In this case, 35 children, men and women were taken, many out of their huts, killed and eaten by lions between August 2002 and April 2004 within a very short distance of the capital Dar es Salaam. 

Tanzania has the largest population of lion in Africa and has a long history of man-eaters. Dr. Rolf Baldus cites the report of records of game ranger George Rushby in 1965 that 1,500 people were killed by lions between 1932 and 1946 in one area not more than 2,000 km. in size. More recently, 42 people were killed in 1986 in the Tunduru District. Even the district game officer was killed. Between July 1994 and September of the following year, 29 people were killed and 17 injured in Liwale District. Between 16 January 1997 and November of that same year, 17 people were killed in Mkuranga District which is not more than 50 km. from the city center of Dar es Salaam. In the Lindu District at least 24 people were killed and a similar figure injured in just one cluster of hamlets near the airport near the coast in 1999/2000.

The most serious one lion case is that of the 35 people killed and 10 injured in the Mkongo ward between August 2002 and April 2004, cited above. Dr. Baldus made a study of those killings. The most frequent method of attack was the lion forcing its way through the wall of a hut or jumping on and through the hut roof. Frequently, the lion killed both persons in the hut but normally left the second person behind. The second most common style of attack is jumping up on people who are watching over planted fields atop of platforms called “Madungus”. In effect the people are presenting themselves as live bait, Baldus notes.

Baldus also opposes the Kenya proposal that lions be placed on Appendix 1 of CITES. He quotes Craig Packer that has researched lion in the Serengeti for 26 years as stating that the “Kenya listing (proposal) is irresponsible.” There is no documented decline in lion numbers over the recent past. The lion population in Tanzania alone may be greater than the lion population estimates for all of Africa cited by Kenya.

Dr. Baldus states that the Chardonnet lion population estimate (2002) completed under the auspices of Conservation Force and IGF is the most “systemic and comprehensive study” done on the status of African lions. That study shows a lion population estimate for Tanzania of 14, 432 (10,409 minimum and 18,215 maximum). Baldus feels that even the Chardonnet Study is conservative because most figures for the protected areas in Tanzania are underestimates. On that point, he is correct. We too consider the estimates conservative as stated in the study. Though the study is more inclusive than others, it is only meant to be a contribution to the study of the status of African lions, not an end in itself.

Baldus states that “lion breed ‘like rabbits’ (over 20 percent per year).” For an proven example he cites the Serengeti that “lost one third of its population due an apparent mutation of the Canine Disemper Virus around 1994-05 (from 3,000 to under 2,000) and is back now to an all time high of around 3,800 in the ecosystem.”

He states that “[t]he reasons which have led to such a tremendous loss of lions in Kenya or in West Africa (an assumption that Conservation Force believes may not be true in West Africa) are not connected to international trade. To upgrade the lion to CITES Appendix 1 as proposed by Kenya would not address any of the issues that adversely affect the lion populations, i.e. loss of habitat to agriculture, problem animal control, poaching and killing of lions by pastoralists. It would however, make the hunting of lions more difficult or even impossible. This hunting is sustainable and giving value to lions is one major element in the range of conservation tools which Tanzania has successfully applied to protect the future of the lion.” Ironically, Kenya has reported killing as many as 200 lions at a time in problem animal control.

Baldus’ report also analyzes safari lion-hunting in Tanzania which has the largest lion population in Africa. Tanzania’s lion trophy fees are 9.4% of trophy fees in the country. The true significance of this is greater when the low numbers that are taken are compared to the great number of other game animals that are taken, i.e., there is a higher return per animal. The gross amount of income generated from lion hunting in Tanzania per annum is 6-7 million U.S. dollars. A careful analysis of the lion trophy data from 1995 to 2003 “has revealed no significant trend in trophy quality in the Selous Game Reserve. This is further evidence that the off-take has been sustainable…. The data does suggest that lion trophy quality responds rapidly to hunting intensity and lion populations are able to recover easily.”

Baldus concludes by stating that, “[t]he publication of grossly false (or falsified) figures for lion numbers does not facilitate the debate on how to best conserve lions in their range…. It is also not helpful if a country like Kenya, which for a variety of reasons unfortunately has a rather deplorable record of lion and wildlife conservation since its hunting ban 27 years ago, proposes an upgrading of lion to Appendix 1. This proposal aims at banning international trade and this is directed essentially at hunting trophies due to near non-existence of other trade. In no way does this address the reasons which have led to the widespread disappearance of lions in Kenya. It will however, negatively affect the sustainable and consumptive use of lions in countries where this contributes to successful lion conservation.” – John J. Jackson, III.

 

 

Argali Suit Finally Finished: Positive Gains
 

The Antis who filed the Argali case have voluntarily dismissed their appeal. The case is over. It was more than a win. We are better off because of the suit. Ironically, hunting interests have been advanced by the suit, not the interests of anti-hunters and animal rights organizations. 

The plaintiffs dismissed their appeal by a motion filed on July 7, 2004. There was no reason given for the dismissal one full month before their appeals brief was due. Everything the Antis did up to that point suggested that they intended to vigorously pursue the appeal.

 

The suit lasted more than three years (it was filed April 2001) and dominated my personal life as was expected. The boxes of files almost fill a storage room. All of my legal services were provided pro bono to the hunting community, Mongolia and the Kyrgyz Republic (for strategic purposes, we only filed a formal intervention on behalf of Mongolia, not Kyrgyzstan). Conservation Force, through its many contributors, bore the many thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket court costs and expenses from transcripts to legal clerks. Conservation Force represented the greatest number of interveners, filed and won the greatest number of motions, filed the greatest number of supporting declarations and affidavits, and selected and initiated the unique arguments and strategy that won the case.

The end results are positive and have advanced hunter’s interests. The following are some of the gains:

First, the suit caused the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) to "withdraw" its decade-old proposal to uplist the Argali in Mongolia, Kyrgyrstan and Tajikistan as "endangered" (58 FR 25595, April 27, 1993). An "endangered" listing would have stopped US trophy imports. Through the suit, we learned that the USF&WS proposal that would have listed all Argali as "endangered" had not been abandoned. It was like a cloud hanging over the hunting community. Now, the Service has finally ruled that the Argali in Mongolia, Kyrgyzatan and Tajikistan are not "endangered" (67 FR 35942, May 22, 2002). The Service’s "withdrawal" of that foreboding proposal has also withstood the suit of the Antis. After that proposal was withdrawn, they amended the Argali suit to include a claim that the "withdrawal" was improper.

Second, in the Argali suit, the interests and rights of foreign governments under the Endanger Species Act (ESA) was established and judicially recognized for the first time. In a precedent-setting opinion, a three-judge federal appeals panel held that foreign governments (Mongolia) have an absolute right to participate in every part of the ESA process as the owners and managers of their resources (Argali), including participation in third-party lawsuits. Anti-hunting organizations are not free to impose their "new morality" or will on indigenous peoples and other nations in the Developing World without the participation of those it impacts the most. 

Third, the Judge’s opinion resolves some important ESA legal issues about trophy importations. The prohibition against the "take" of a domestic listed species that stopped wolf hunting in Minnesota and grizzly hunting in Montana does not apply to issuance of permits for importation of "threatened" game taken in foreign countries. That is important. For more than a decade the Antis have been threatening the USF&WS with suit for issuing trophy import permits of "threatened" species. Their position has been that trophy import permits can only be granted "in the extraordinary case where population pressures (of the species being imported) within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved.…" That is because the Courts have applied that test to the taking of "threatened" listed wolf and grizzly when taken within the United States. Thanks to the Argali case, the ESA prohibition against hunting has now been determined not to be applicable to importation of trophies "taken" (hunted) in foreign lands. The Antis first raised the legal issue that trophies of "threatened" species should not be importable in the Elephant Law Suit but their intervention occurred too late for that issue to be adressed in that case.

Fourth, the suit also sheds a great deal of light on the "special" regulations governing importation of Argali trophies. Those regulations had confounded everyone. We now know exactly what must be done before the USF&WS will allow trophy importations from the three countries (Mongolia, Tajikistan and Kyrghizia) without a permit. If and when the six criteria in the "special" regulations are satisfied, the Service will no longer require import permits for that country. In fact, the Argali is the only "threatened" listed species on Appendix II of CITES for which an import permit is required. It is an unusual requirement never before applied to foreign species listed as "threatened" under the ESA when they are already protected by an Appendix II CITES listing. Until information is received that satisfy the six criteria to the Service’s satisfaction, trophy import permits will continue to be required. Not surprisingly, the conditions (information needed) for trophy imports without import permits closely tracks the criteria for listing species set forth in the ESA. Nevertheless, the six conditions of the special regulations hopefully will be applied less rigidly and more expeditiously than the formal downlisting process. Dowlisting petitions for cheetah, wood bison in Canada, markhor in Pakistan and even elephant in southern Africa have all been denied or left pending indefinitely over the past decade. Satisfying the "special" regulation for argali may be more reasonably received.

As explained above, the Service has not been issuing permits under the "Special" Argali regulation. That regulation dispenses with the need for a permit when the Service’s conditions are satisfied and is only intended to apply after that circumstance. Instead, the Service issues trophy import permits under its general authority. Each year, it determines that the hunting does not jeopardize the Argali (non-jeopardy finding) and that it enhances the Argali’s survival (enhancement finding). These findings are made by two different divisions of the USF&WS before permits are issued each year. This means that the Service has been making a finding that Argali hunting is benefiting the Argali each year since they were listed. Stated differently, hunters have in fact been found to be a force for the conservation of Argali each year. 

Fifth, the Argali decision is also the first formal judicial recognition under the ESA that hunting benefits a "threatened" listed species. Although USF&W has been making that internal decision each year in each of the three countries exporting Argali trophies, no court had reviewed it. In fact, this was the first suit attempting directly to stop the importation of hunting trophies. The Antis suit rested on the assumption that hunting of a listed foreign species is inherently detrimental to its survival. The Trial Court’s opinion makes it clear that US tourist hunting of Argali is preferable because the sheep are to be taken or even eliminated anyway. The regulated hunting by US hunters that is the primary incentive and revenue for the sheep conservation is a better, more beneficial use. Organizations like The Earth Inland Institute (one of the Argali plaintiffs) have long argued that "USF&WS funds, and taxpayer support, should not be used for the research that would contribute to the foundation of, or enable, ‘hunting conservation’ schemes in any argali-range nation…. In addition, sanctioned hunting is the most easily eliminated factor contributing to species decline." The Argali suit result is also a far cry from the press release assertion of the Fund for Animals that, "[i]t is unconscionable that hundreds of animals in this imperiled species have been killed (Editor Note: Closer to a total of one thousand today) simply so wealthy American trophy hunters can add more heads to their collections." The Antis were cocksure that "head" hunting, as they mischarac- terized it, would be enjoined. Wrong.

Sixth, the suit also caused an unexpected response from the hunting community that promises to be a formidable force in the future. With Conservation Force in the lead, Safari Club International and the US Sportsmen’s Alliance’s legal teams all filed full interventions. The Antis found themselves facing the legal expertise and capacity of those three legal teams and that of the government agencies’ attorneys as well. Despite the Antis’ successes in other cases, it must have been bewildering for the them to suddenly be confronted with so much opposition. They can expect no less opposition in the future. The sheep hunting community also pulled together when both the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and Grand Slam/OVIS stepped into the ring with Conservation Force. That can be expected in the future as well. The "Ducks Unlimited" of the sheep conservation world will no longer sit by while the Antis dictate bad policy to the world. 

 

African Lion Targeted At CITES Meeting
 

 

African lion trade has been challenged. At the recent 20th Animals Committee Meeting of CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa, African lion trade became an issue. Both the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) separately reviewed the status of the African lion. They made contradictory recommendations about the significance of trade in lion parts. The Significant Trade Working Group, on which I served, passed over the African lion, the caracal cat, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and a number of other game mammals because of other species in more dire need of review due to their status and significant trade. Kenya was not happy and attempted to add the African lion to the list of species selected for special review in the final closing hours of the meeting. The Committee declined to add it to 10 other species that were selected, but it will be considered at the next Animals Committee Meeting in 2005 in Geneva. Kenya is expected to submit a written paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Significant Trade Review process can lead to the uplisting of Appendix II species to Appendix I and/or a prohibition of trade in the species. The contradictory recommendations of WCMC and IUCN’s Trade Specialist Group were revealing. The WCMC said that lion populations are "declining… due to habitat loss, prey base loss and persecution…. The main threat is currently persecution for pest control," citing the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, 2001. The lions’ "total effective population size is estimated at below 10,000 mature breeding individuals…." Nevertheless, the WCMC did not recommend the African lion for review because "South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are the main exporters for this species and show relatively high but stable levels of trade over time. These are countries in which the lion is most abundant," so the trade is relatively insignificant where it occurs. Tanzania had the highest trophy trade from 1992 through 2002. 

The chart on previous page shows the safari hunting countries with the largest lion trade. It makes several things immediately obvious. Tanzania has the highest volume of trophy lion exports by far; South Africa (many captive bred), Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana follow, in that order. Botswana has not had significant lion trophy exportation in a decade because of its excessively restrictive quota, but contrast that lowly figure with the number of skins Botswana was exporting before the closure in 2001. It has had the highest number of skins in international trade, greatly surpassing all other countries. It most certainly documents the waste of what could be a conservation resource if more lions had been on the tourist hunting quota. Of course, lion hunting in Botswana is now closed, but we understand the destruction of lion in problem animal control is worsening, as we would expect.

We think that WCMC’s recommendation that the lion not be reviewed further was sound, but IUCN’s Wildlife Trade Programme contradicted it. IUCN stated that "[g]iven the threats facing lions and new research findings, a review of the sustainability of trophy exports is recommended."

The threats and new findings are the false issues that have been dominating media coverage over the past couple of years. First, IUCN quoted sources that the African lion population had declined from "200,000 in the 1980s to around 20,000 today." We disagree. It is preposterous to claim that there were 200,000 lions in the 1980s without any basis whatsoever. The most up-to-date study does not show a significant decline for the past decade, if any at all. That study, Conservation of the African Lion: Contribution to a Status Survey, is a compilation of the opinions of the 50 most authoritative experts on African lion of our time across Africa by Conservation Force and the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife. It shows a mean estimate of 40,000 African lions and that the number is basically stable.

The second issue raised was the recent claim that Feline AIDS (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), the feline equivalent of HIV, is killing lions. That is total nonsense. It is a known fact that cats do not succumb to Feline AIDS. For many years, cancer and AIDS researchers have been studying Feline AIDS to better understand why it does not have significant effects on cats, because it does not. The recent presumption in the media that Feline AIDS was suspected when a whole pride of lions was found dead together was wholly unfounded and contrary to decades of research. The probable cause of a whole pride dying simultaneously is poison, not a disease that has not been found to harm cats in decades of study. 

Canine Distemper Virus was cited as another reason for concern. That disease has in fact killed thousands of lions in an overpopulated region of Tanzania, but lions reproduce like rabbits, and vice versa. In a few short years, literally thousands of lions have replaced those that died.

Regardless, those are not trade issues at all. Moreover, trophy hunting is not significant, nor could it be of real biological consequence. Most male lions are surplus and lions are prolific reproducers as well. The young, nomadic male you shoot is not likely to ever have a pride and the older pride males can’t keep a pride. All of the current preoccupation by the hunting industry with trophy quality and lion age fosters a misperception in the media that safari hunting somehow has significance to the population status of lion. Safari hunting saves more lions than it takes, which cannot be said for problem animal control, which is a threat to this otherwise robust and resilient species.

The African lion is likely to be added to the Significant Trade Review Process at the next Animals Committee Meeting in 2005 in Geneva. This will require the selected exporting countries to explain and justify their nondetriment findings and internal quotas. Those countries with lower level trophy trade may not be able to bear the expense of population estimation and documentation. On the other hand, those with lesser levels of trophy exports may not be selected. The hunting community must remember that quota setting and nondetriment finding methodology itself is currently undergoing review. It is bound to become more demanding and expensive to satisfy export permit findings requirements. There can be no doubt that exporting countries are going to be called upon to have documented findings. That will be problematic when species populations can’t be satisfactorily estimated because the species’ habits or its habitats make it too expensive or impossible.

 


Insights From Wildlife Conflict Studies, 
A Different Perspective For Problem Solving


"Hunting provides the principal incentive and revenue
for conservation. Hence it is a force for conservation."

(Editor Note: All material contained in this section is provided by famed wildlife and hunting attorney John J. Jackson, III with whom The Hunting Report has formed a strategic alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to educate the hunting community as well as proadvocacy of hunting rights opportunities. More broadly, the alliance will also seek to open up new hunting opportunities worldwide and ward off attacks on currently available opportunities.)
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Concern for human-wildlife conflict has increased in Africa in the last few years. The focus on conflict provides a different prospective for problem solving. The survival of ecosystems as a whole and wildlife in particular are vitally dependent upon the coexistence of local people with wildlife. The conflicts threaten the very existence of wildlife. Those conflicts take many forms. Three forms have recently been studied in the Masai Mara area of Kenya. They provide interesting insight to those who care about Africa, its people and its wildlife. 

The studies were done in the Mara region of Kenya, which is the north, or Kenya, side of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The Masai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) is within the area. Its visitor numbers peaked at over 200,000 in the early and mid-1960s. However, due to competition from Southern Africa and security concerns, visitation today has fallen to 100,000 visitors per year. It is especially famous for its concentration of migratory herbivores, including 100,000 zebra and over one million wildebeest. The sight of hundreds of thousands of these animals moving together through the grasslands has been described as one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth. It is also famous for its other large mammals, such as the "Big Five" made famous by safari hunting before it was closed in the 1960s. The "Big Five" did much to promote the Kenya tourist economy in the 1960s, but today that mentality is reported to be "doing more harm than good" because of "traffic jams . . . around prides of lions and other conflicts." 

The British Government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs funded conflict studies in the area that were conducted by graduate students of the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. A workshop was conducted to develop management recommendations from the findings which were published in March 2003 and entitled, "Wildlife and People: Conflict and Conservation in Masai Mara, Kenya, Wildlife and Development Series No. 14, International Institute for Environment and Development, London."

Three kinds of human-wildlife conflicts were researched. Each contains some jewels of interest. First, the impact of tourism on wildlife within the Reserve (MMNR). Second, the impact of tourists and the local community on the endangered black rhinoceros population within the Reserve. And third, human-elephant conflict in the district beside the Reserve.

The primary impact of tourism within the Reserve was caused by uncontrollable off-road driving. The number of roads and tracks increased by approximately thirty percent between 1991 and 1999. Although that disturbed the animals, it did not significantly affect the distribution of seven herbivores selected for study – namely, the waterbuck, kongoni, impala, giraffe, zebra, warthog and topi. The location of streams and rivers controlled the location of the animals regardless of the increase in number and location of the roads and tracks. "Among all the explanatory variables that were tested it was only the mean distance from all rivers that had a significant relationship with species richness. Vegetation, visitor presence and distance from roads were insignificant for those seven species."

There was a positive correlation between the visible disturbance of wildlife and tourist vehicle speed. That was measured for five species - warthog, wildebeest, impala, zebra and topi. Each of these animals reacted at different distances upon the approach of a tourist vehicle, and the disturbance to each increased with an increase in the speed of the vehicle. "Analysis indicated that there were significant differences in response distance among the different species studied." We note that the same is likely to be true if one was hunting instead of viewing. Topi were the least timid to vehicle approach, while warthogs were the most timid. Of course, the "animals responded at shorter distances (slower to be disturbed) in areas with high visitation levels than those with low visitation levels," indicating "that most animals have become habituated to vehicles in highly visited areas."

The warthog was the most sensitive animal to the approach of a vehicle. It was the first to be disturbed at the greatest distance and also responded sooner and more greatly the faster the vehicle speed. The sensitivity of the others in descending order were the wildebeest, impala, zebra, and the topi. The topi being the least sensitive. This means that the slower you go the closer you can get without disturbing the animals. 

"Too many vehicles around animals (more than five at a viewing) and driving too close to the animals (closer than 20 meters) were the most frequently broken visitor regulations. These were broken during 66 percent of lion-viewing events, and 57 percent . . . of cheetah viewing events . . . . The other most frequently broken regulations were visitors remaining too long viewing animals (more than 10 minutes when other vehicles were waiting), and driving off-road. These infringements occurred in 40 percent and 36 percent of lion-viewing events, and 36 percent and 52 percent of cheetah-viewing events. . . ." Though the regulations appear reasonable, they are broken in 90 percent of the viewing cases, despite the drivers and tourists knowing the regulations.

The black rhino in the Masai Mara are disbursing to other areas when the population should be building to its former density in the Reserve. The mystery was where are they going and what is the cause of their disbursal? The research demonstrated that all of the animals studied in the system are declining except the elephants. The elephants are increasing. The Reserve "is becoming less valuable for browsers such as rhinos, partly due to elephant-induced habitat changes."

Cattle were found to be the primary culprit. "Neither tourism pressure, expressed either as road density, vehicle density, or distance from lodges, nor elevation had any effect on rhino distribution." "Whilst cattle do not compete directly with black rhinos for resources, they appear to disturb rhinos so that they do not make use of areas where cattle reside. This disturbance is probably a result of cattle bells, and the presence of herders and dogs with the cattle, the noise from which prevents rhinos from resting in thickets in areas where cattle occur." A high density of elephants are closing down day schools, causing the abandonment of farms and farming, reducing woody vegetation and reducing practically all other animals, including endangered ones such as the black rhino.

For a copy of the studies, contact the International Institute for Environment and Development, 3 Endsleigh Street, London, WCIH ODD. Tel. +44(0)207-388-2117. Fax +044(0) 207-388-2826. Email: mailbox@iied.org. Ask for 11ED Wildlife and Development Series No. 14.
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Briefly Noted

Moose Rebound: The moose is one more big game animal that has been restored by the hunters of North America through its sustainable use in America’s hunters-funded wildlife conservation system. The North American moose population was thought to be 341,700 in 1948 (Peterson). Kelsall placed the number at 888,000 in 1987. By 1990, Gill estimated the number to be one million. Today, the population is thought to be 938,350 to 1,064,130, or about one million, and to range over 17 states and 11 Canadian Provinces and Territories. Like the pronghorn, elk and black bear, it is one more game animal restored to the one million mark. 



The North American Moose Foundation was formed a little more than two years ago to shepherd moose conservation. The Foundation is partnering with Conservation Force to add moose to the Unendangered and America’s Abundant Game posters and education and waterfowl that were not on it before. We also welcome the North American Moose Foundation to the sportsmen’s conservation community. May they become for moose what DU has been for waterfowl, RMEF has been for elk, NWTF has been for wild turkeys, and FNAWS has been for wild sheep.

The North American Moose Foundation is hosting its annual fund-raiser in Sun Valley, Idaho, on December 5 and 6, 2003. For more information about the Foundation, see their web site at: moose foundation.org. E-mail: moose @atcnet.net. Tel. 209-588-2939.

Attack on BC Grizzly Bear Hunting Continues: In 2001, the antis persuaded the European Union’s Scientific Review Group to recommend to EU member nations that Grizzly bear trophy imports not be imported. Though the EU Scientific Review Group later overturned its recommendation on the basis of an information campaign that a select few of us participated in, the antis are at it again. The Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) had asked that the EU stop imports until BC’s independent panel’s review was completed. Now, the EIA has asked the EU Scientific Review Group to ban imports until all the recommendations of the Independent Review Panel in British Columbia are implemented in years to come.

British Columbia’s own Independent Review Panel approved of British Columbia’s Grizzly Management and the basis of BC’s quota, yet made precautionary recommendations to improve upon management over the course of time. The EIA has twisted those recommendations to turn them into a mandate in an effort to ban imports and to get the Canadian Wildlife Service to stop the issuance of CITES export permits from British Columbia. The unofficial report, as I write this, is that the EU has rejected the new EIA suggestion. Now even Germany, the last holdout, is allowing the importation of grizzly bear trophies from British Columbia. Thanks is due to Eugene Lapointe of IWMC (International Wildlife Management Consortium) for timely notifying us of the latest sneak attack by the EIA and to FACE (Federation of Associations For Hunting and Conservation in the EU) for verifying that Germany is permitting grizzly trophy imports once again.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has responded in its own way to the British Columbia Independent Review Panel’s positive report on the Province’s grizzly bear. IFWA issued a press release in April condemning the British Columbian Government for killing 10,000 Black bears, plus 800 grizzlies, as problem animals over the past decade. That is 1,000 Black bear per annum. It wants the province to divert management revenue to "proper humane traps, trained Karelian Bear Dogs" and the purchase and employment of "aversive conditioning materials." It semantically stated that "everyone agrees that the killing of problem bears is a waste...yet the B.C. government continues with a failed policy that has done nothing to lower problem bear complaints or the number of people hurt by bears." To the contrary, the only waste is that more of those bear are not taken in licensed, regulated hunts by those who are bearing the costs of the management system.

Bart O’Gara Passes: Dr. Bart O’Gara passed away on May 21, 2003. Bart was a Founding Board Member of Conservation Force and an inspiration to all who worked with him. Bart was a Wildlife Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana, where he received his Ph.D. in Zoology in 1968. He had an office at the University, where I have communicated with him regularly over the past 12 years and daily over the past seven years. As well as serving Conservation Force directly, he was one of the intervenors in the pending Argali suit in the Federal District Court of Washington, DC.

Bart gave his life to public service. He first served his nation as an enlisted man in the US Navy. He retired from the Navy after 20 years of service and began his undergraduate studies at Montana State University. Upon graduation, he became a research wildlife biologist with the US F&WS as Assistant Leader of the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. Later, he was promoted to Leader of that Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. He held the Leader position for 12 years before retiring from the Extension Service with 25 years of service. He was a respected teacher, prolific author and consummate big game hunter.

This past year he finished a definitive work on pronghorn antelope and completed three chapters of a book entitled North American Elk, Ecology and Management. Chapter 1 was entitled "Taxonomy;" Chapter 2, "Distribution: Past and Present;" and Chapter 16, "Hunting Red Deer and Elk: Old and New Worlds." He also completed a book on his hunting adventures, soon to be published by Safari Press. That well written book is entitled Seventy-Five Years Afield.

Bart was an expert on the management of big game in developing countries. His awards, fellowships, grants, work in foreign countries and publications are incomparable. We searched the world over for members of the Conservation Force Board. Bart was recognized as "Conservationist of the Year" by SCI and received many other honors. He conducted the Wildlife and Conservation and Management Training Program for Pakistan in 1985-86 that is the foundation of that country’s world-renown success today. He was the expert I chose in SCI’s Argali suit against the USF&WS in 1993, and he did a phenomenal critical analysis of the Argali Rule and "special" trophy import regulations. He even assisted me in the early stages of the BC grizzly fight in the middle 1990s.

Conservation Force deeply regrets this irreplaceable loss. There will never be another Bart O’Gara. We are fortunate to have truly great men on Conservation Force’s Board, but upon the passing of one who contributed so very much, we also know the measure of truly great loss. Thank you Bart for everything! 

 
 

DATELINE: WASHINGTON, DC, News Analysis, The Argali Case: Court, Hears Mongolia's Appeal
(posted April 2003) 


(Editor Note: All material contained in this section is provided by famed wildlife and hunting attorney John J. Jackson, III with whom The Hunting Report has formed a strategic alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to educate the hunting community as well as proadvocacy of hunting rights opportunities. More broadly, the alliance will also seek to open up new hunting opportunities worldwide and ward off attacks on currently available opportunities.)



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DATELINE: WASHINGTON, DC
News Analysis
The Argali Case: Court
Hears Mongolia's Appeal
You may recall that the trial judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia did not allow Mongolia's Natural Resources Department to intervene in the Argali case. The antis raised every conceivable issue to prevent Mongolia from participating. Their wild assertions and Red Herrings made a lot of work for Conservation Force. They succeeded in persuading the trial judge to deny the Mongolian motion to join in the suit, even though the trial judge let absolutely everyone else join in the case. We filed an appeal on behalf of Mongolia. When you take on a responsibility, itis necessary to see it through regardless of the cost and burden.

Conservation Force also represents the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep; Grand Slam/OVIS; Raul Valdez, Ph.D.; Bart O'Gara, Ph.D.; James Teer, Ph.D.; and some individual conservation-minded Argali hunters - Ron Bartels, Douglas C. Stromberg, Ben Seale, Clark S. Ullom and Lee G. Lipscomb. Conservation Force also represents itself. Many others have wanted to join the suit and/or have supported the overall Argali effort.

The antis have never before filed a suit to directly prohibit the importation of hunting trophies. The antis did intervene in both the 1991 Elephant and 1992 Argali suits. (Yours truly, John J. Jackson, III, was the trial counsel for hunting interest in those cases too.) They have also influenced the trophy import practices of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFW&S) through formal "notices of intent to sue" involving permitting of everything from polar bear to cheetah. Because this Argali case is the first real suit to directly stop the importation of hunting trophies, it is the first occasion for a country like Mongolia to intervene as a defendant to protect its own wildlife management program. 

We appealed the trial courts denial to the federal appellate court for the District of Columbia because of the important principle involved. We compiled an Appendix of the trial court's records, and briefs were filed by both sides. On Friday, February 21, we made the oral argument before a three-judge panel of the Appellate Court. Mongolia and the hunting world's interest were represented by yours truly, John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force. The Fund for Animals and other antis were represented by Howard Crystal of the law firm Meyer and Glitzenstein. That firm has long represented anti-hunting interests. 

I opened by telling the court that I was the pro bono counsel for the greatest wild sheep conservation organizations in the world and in the history of the world - organizations that have no equal in wild sheep conservation. Then I argued that Mongolia should be allowed to participate in litigation that so directly impacts its own sovereign resource. It is the sovereign owner of the Argali and its own conservation program is what is at stake. No one has greater or more direct interest than that. All the other lesser interests were allowed to intervene, but the trial judge excluded the party with the greatest interest!

I also argued that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) expressly provides that the USF&WS shall "take into account" the conservation program of the foreign nation in the listing process and shall "encourage" the "conservation programs" of foreign nations. The trial judge (at the coaxing of the antis) has undermined that Congressional intent by excluding Mongolia as a participant in the suit involving Mongolia's own wild sheep that, of course, are largely dependent upon Mongolia for their survival. Mongolia should be a participant. We want it to care about, and for, its own resources. We do not undiplomatically want to send the wrong message that the ESA is simply an internal, domestic concern of the USA, because it is not. Also, the other interveners need Mongolia's insight. We need Mongolia to help decipher the administrative record that has collected over a decade, much of which is in the Mongolian language. Who can advise us better than Mongolia what its documents in the administrative record mean? It was error for the trial court to send a message that Mongolia's participation is unwanted and their interest is of no concern under the ESA. The unreasoned trial court decision "undermines" the operation of the Endangered Species Act and discourages Mongolia from even caring.

The oral argument on behalf of Mongolia was a serious responsibility, and it went well. The attorney for the Antis, Howard Crystal, argued that Mongolia's interest had to be supported by proof such as sworn affidavits. One judge remarked that the burden was on the antis challenging the standing of the intervener and that our statement in the appeal brief that Mongolia's interest is "self-evident and speaks for itself without further proof" is true. After all, Mongolia's Natural Resources Department is the managing authority most responsible for the survival of the sheep. Another judge remarked that "ownership" is the epitome of interest.

Howard Crystal argued that the US Justice Department already represented Mongolia's interest adequately, to which I replied that there are and continue to be numerous conflicts between the USF&WS and Mongolia's Natural Resource Department that make their positions antagonistic. For example, we take the position that it was illegal for the USF&WS to even propose the listing of Mongolia's Argali as "endangered"; therefore, it cannot be the basis for a legitimate endangered listing Final Rule that the antis have asked the trial court to order. One of the claims of the Antis is to compel the "endangered" listing that the USF&WS has proposed. The USF&WS was proposing the endangered listing of Mongolia's argali, and Mongolia was opposed to that proposed rule. The very proposal was a conflict with Mongolia's interest, i.e., a conflict of interest. The Justice Department cannot represent two conflicting interests.

Howard Crystal argued that the same lawyer (yours truly) represented the other interveners and Mongolia; therefore, there is no need to name Mongolia as well. I replied that Mongolia's interest was the greatest, thus it should come first. Mongolia's full participation was needed to understand the administrative record and to "encourage" Argali conservation as Congress intended. No one can stand in Mongolia's shoes. Nor is anyone else obligated to conserve and protect its Argali, as Mongolia's Natural Resources Department is under its own laws. 

One of the three judges of the panel of the Appellate court asked what effect the Mongolian appeal would have on the pending case before the trial court if Mongolia was successful in its appeal. The argali case in the trial court is nearly finished because all the briefs were filed by everyone in early February. If Mongolia is added at this late date, we do not intend to file any additional brief on behalf of Mongolia that would delay the trial court decision. We told the Appellate panel that the suit has already had too great a "chilling effect" on the hunting program to prolong the case any longer than necessary. Mongolia's argali conservation program is wholly dependent upon the revenue and incentives arising from the hunting that itself is dependent upon the ability of US hunters to import their trophies, which is what is at issue. The suit will determine the revenue, and thus the operating capacity of the Natural Resources Department of the Ministry. It imperils the very survival of Mongolia's argali. If permitted to intervene, Mongolia will participate in any appeal of the trial court decision and will help us interpret the administrative record if and when the case is appealed. However, the lower trial court's briefing does not have to be reopened and delayed. We did not seek a stay order of the trial court proceeding by the appellate court until the appeal was concluded. We deliberately appealed in such a way that it would not delay the case, yet would establish the important principle that the affected foreign nation can participate in litigation of this kind.

Conservation Force continues its pro bono legal services to the hunting and conservation world. Yours truly is the only unpaid attorney in the case. We filed most of the motions in the case, including Mongolia's appeal, and we represent the greatest wild sheep-specific conservation organizations in the world. It is an honor and a privilege. We will keep you advised of developments in both levels of the Argali litigation. 

If you would like to receive a transcript of the oral arguments before the three-judge panel, contact Conservation Force assistant Karen at 504-837-1233; or at jjw-no1@att.net.


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DATELINE: BRITISH COLUMBIA
News Analysis
Antis Grizzly Claims 
Are Called "Unfounded"
The long awaited Final Report of the Independent Grizzly Bear Scientific Review Panel has cleared Grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia, Canada. The 90-page report entitled Management Of Grizzly Bears In British Columbia: A Review By An Independent Scientific Panel was submitted by the six-member panel On March 6 to the British Columbia Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection.

The report states that "[o]verall, the Panel concludes that current protective measures, combined with some additional measures listed in the recommendations section of this report, offer a robust conservation strategy for grizzly bears. Our confidence in this conservation strategy is enhanced by the recognition that the British Columbia government has access to a group of engaged and qualified professionals that are committed to the long-term conservation of grizzly bears. Accordingly, we do not see any justification for imposition of a ban on imports of bears (e.g., by the European Union) that are legally harvested in British Columbia."

"The panel's evaluation of grizzly bear harvests did not reveal any compelling evidence of over-harvest in the province as a whole or in any GBPUs (Grizzly Bear Population Units)." Moreover, the Panel found the Ministry's population estimates of 14,000 to be reasonable. The anti-hunters' estimates were wholly rebuffed. "[W]e take issue with the critics who continue to endorse estimates of about 6,000 bears (or even 4,000), based on long-defunct data (unreliable 1972 guesstimates of 5,000 - 8,000), claiming that . . . (they) are just as likely as the newer estimates." "Although these low estimates - which have been widely cited in the public media - make an appealing argument for those concerned about over-hunting of bears and inherent uncertainties in bear management, they do little more than unfairly muddle the picture. If these old estimates had been higher than current estimates, it is likely that they would have faded from memory, which should be the situation in any case." 

The government of British Columbia imposed a three-year moratorium on grizzly bear hunting in February 2001. It announced that during the hunting moratorium an independent panel of bear experts would be appointed to review the province's grizzly harvest management strategy. The composition of the panel was based on recommendations from the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA). No panelist was employed by the government agencies in British Columbia and none were financially linked to such agencies. This past July, the newly elected British Columbia government lifted the hunting moratorium (it was closed that one Spring), but supported the continuation of the independent review panel. 

The Scientific Review Group of the European Union was also brought into the picture when it recommended the banning of import of grizzly bear trophies from British Columbia into European Union member countries. It subsequently made a favorable finding, but some European Union member countries have been awaiting the promised Panel Report. Moreover, the Canadian Wildlife Service was challenged to stop issuing CITIES trophy export permits. The Canadian Wildlife Service refused but promised to re-evaluate when the Panel review was complete. Consequently, the Ministry of British Columbia, the CITIES Authorities of the Canadian Wildlife Service, the European Union's Scientific Review Group and others have all been awaiting this Final Report from the Panel.

The Report is not all good news. The panel, as expected, made a number of expert "recommendations". Many areas have been closed and will remain closed to grizzly hunting. The panel "recommends" closure in additional areas. It also recommends lowering the quota from six percent of the population in each grizzly unit to five percent to reduce the risk of the "inherent" uncertainty of population estimates and unknown, non-hunter-caused mortality. That one percent reduction at "the upper end of the scale, (i.e., from six percent to five percent)" has the bottom line effect of reducing by 17 percent the number of bears that can be taken. Hence, it causes a 17 percent reduction in hunting opportunity.

The Panel recommends greater restrictions on human access to wild lands and that this be made part of the grizzly planning and management program. "Management of access is a major issue across North America. Efforts to manage access in British Columbia will benefit many species of wildlife as well as grizzly bears. Increased forest access can cause an increase in human-grizzly encounters and a reduction in habitat effectiveness in the vicinity of active roads and trails." "[T]he collective work on this topic lends strength to the fundamental conclusion that access generally displaces grizzly bears." "Hunting conducted under properly managed game management principles rarely poses a threat to bear populations; chronic habitat changes and increased human access, however, can have serious deleterious effects. One such effect is increased mortality as a consequence of increased road development and access."

The panel also recommended the creation of a greater number of protected areas (no hunting) to ensure a closed "Grizzly Bear Management Area within each bioclimatic region of the province." "Refuges that are closed to hunting, where bears occur at near carrying capacity, can be important sources of emigrants that can buffer over-harvesting in surrounding areas," the Panel reasoned.

These non-hunting sanctuaries are in addition to the 4.5 million hectares of national and provincial parks. Hunting is not allowed in the national parks and not allowed in some provincial parks. Hunting is also not allowed when grizzly populations are less than "fifty percent of their habitat capability", i.e., carrying capacity of the habitat. There are 11 of those units. Additionally, grizzly bear units that are isolated from other units and have a population estimate of less than 100 bears are closed due to their "inherent vulnerability." Hunting has already been closed indefinitely in 24 percent, and temporarily in another 13 percent of the grizzly's historic range, 37 percent of the total. At present, a total of 82 management units (45 percent) have been closed to grizzly bear hunting while 101 remain open. 

Grizzly bears have been eliminated from 11 percent of their historical range in British Columbia, which means they continue to exist in 89 percent of their historical range. The bears are really secure in British Columbia because 95 percent of all forest land is government-owned.

The European Union should learn a lesson here about the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the way it uses subterfuge and unreliable statistics to push its points. The EIA was the prime mover in the closure of grizzly hunting in BC and the imposition of an import ban by the EU. More broadly, anyone in the hunting community who is still apathetic about the anti-hunting movement worldwide should also take a lesson here. 

The Chair of the Grizzly Bear Scientific Panel is quoted by the Ministry as saying, "We are pleased that the province has accepted our recommendations to further improve a bear harvest management system that is arguably already one of the best in North America." Despite the recommended 17 percent reduction in quotas in each management unit, closure of more areas to hunting and new restrictions on access, we at Conservation Force do not expect the anti-hunters to go away. Nor is grizzly bear survival assured by these recommended refinements, because hunting never threatened the bear in the first place. The Panel Report can be viewed at http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/wld/ (Click on "Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy"). - John J. Jackson, III.

London March to Save Hunting Breaks All Records

"Hunting provides the principal incentive and revenue for conservation. Hence it is a force for conservation."

(Editor Note: All material contained in this section is provided by famed wildlife and hunting attorney John J. Jackson, III with whom The Hunting Report has formed a strategic alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to educate the hunting community as well as proadvocacy of hunting rights opportunities. More broadly, the alliance will also seek to open up new hunting opportunities worldwide and ward off attacks on currently available opportunities.)

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London March to Save Hunting Breaks All Records
By John J. Jackson, III.
(Editor Note: Conservation Force’s John J. Jackson, III and his wife, Chrissie, were in London September 22nd for the pro-hunting “Liberty & Livelihood” March. This is their account of that trip.)

Never have Chrissie and I experienced anything like the “Liberty & Livelihood” march in London, England, on September 22, 2002. It was much more than a march. It was a phenomena. 
We went to better understand how to defend hunting as a minority-type “civil rights” or “liberty” issue. Also to better understand the animal rightists’ allegations that practically all use of animals is “cruel,” particularly in their worldwide campaign to end all hunting. We went to fight before the war reaches our shores. We learned and experienced that and much more. It will forever be one of the proudest days of our lives.

The Countryside Alliance had organized prior marches. This time, the Alliance hoped to break all European march records with up to 300,000 marchers. That ambitious goal would make it the largest “civil rights” march in the history of all of Europe. It was!

Chrissie and I took our designated positions early, an hour before it began, in a biting wind on a bridge crossing the River Thames. It was the starting point for all international marchers who were rather thin in numbers. We were registered marchers and paid members of the Countryside Alliance representing Conservation Force and CIC (International Counsel of Game Management and Conservation).

We had also solicited other North American organizations to formally register their support “in spirit.” Though they were not counted as actual marchers, they were tallied as supporters. Those were The Wildlife Society (9,000 members); the International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (representing 75 state and provincial wildlife agencies of North America); the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (7,000 members); Texas Wildlife Association (5,000 members), Texas Bighorn Society (500 members); the Campfire Club of American (470 members); and Shikar Safari Club International (200 members). A debt of gratitude is owed to those organizations that once again set themselves apart.

The low number of marchers worried us at our international starting point. When we crossed the bridge we were not prepared for the crowd, or the loud-cheering reception that gave us an importance way beyond our numbers. This friendliness and camaraderie created a bond and uncommon sense of community that grew all day. Everyone acted as a friend, yet you really knew no one. These were nice people. They were decent people. The marchers joined together to oppose intolerant, self-righteous interests that would not leave them alone. Never have we experienced anything like it, nor do we expect to again.

We merged again and again with streams of other marches from other starting points. The people were handsome, wholesome, cleanly dressed and good-natured. There was not one scrap of trash or paper dropped to the ground, and there were no incidents or arrests of marchers. The police had an easy day. These were decent people marching for the “liberty” to hunt, their country and way of life and their interrelated “livelihoods.” It was the “liberty and livelihood” march. The nature of the cause and the people made it even more special. Yet there were clear messages that a rage is building towards those that disrespect the country people and their culture.

The whistles, horns and everyone fell silent as we marched past the British Houses of Parliament and the statue of fallen soldiers that had died for liberty - many of the dead, of course, had come from the “country” or knew and loved hunting and the “field sports.” After all, hadn’t they died for the liberty and freedom to live the country way of life?

We passed under the large arch with the display counter register about mid-morning. Once through, we ducked behind a pillar of the arch in the center of the wide street. We were still worried about the numbers of people. We stood alone at that point as the swelling number of people swarmed around and passed us until it ended at 5:38 p.m. That side of the arch had a large painted statement, “YOU HAVE NOW BEEN COUNTED. THANK YOU!” The counter read 71,605 at our crossing. It climbed to 407,791 before we left that point six hours later! We witnessed the largest march in the long history of Europe. A march that filled every newspaper in London and in Europe. The crowds cheered as they passed under the registering counter. At points, it became a deafening roar that would go on for minutes, especially when the number crossed 250,000, 275,000, 300,000 and each additional 10,000 after that. It roared again at 400,000 because of the epic it was. You could hear the roar start and travel forward and backwards. 

The pride of everyone grew as the day passed. The marchers developed a “well-done” attitude. The crowd swelled in size and pride. The continuous stream of marchers thickened even more. It rained when the counter reached 244,849 marchers. It rained again hard at 320,000, but it made no difference to the resolve. The message on the marchers’ wet faces confirmed the fact that we made the right decision to come. Many thousands saw our sign “Conservation Force, Hunters are Indispensable, USA” with the attached American Flag. Marchers crisscrossed out of their way to express their appreciation for our participation. “Thank you for being here. Thank you for caring . . . for your support. . . for being with us . . . very much indeed.” “Nice to see you good people here.” “Jolly good.” “Well done, Yanks!” “Excellent!” “Bully!” “Thank you, America!” “Brilliant!” “Nice to see you!” 

Literally thousands of people had to make a gesture, speak to us, shake our hand or pat us on the shoulders. They would look at our sign, look at our Conservation Force shirts and beeline for us. Chrissie was speechlessly in tears for periods, and I had many lumps in my throat that afternoon. Chrissie said to me, “I’ve never been so proud to be a hunter. This is the greatest day of my life.” Tears welled in my own eyes as she expressed what everyone was feeling. The unabashed expression of appreciation for our presence and the support by fellow hunters who needed us deeply was just too much. We were proud to be hunters and proud to be Conservation Force representing hunters. It surprised and overwhelmed us.

The signs the marchers carried partly tell the story of this epic event. They are a study themselves that provides useful insight to those of us who have made it a part of our lives to put up a good fight. What follows are not spelling mistakes, just the clever way the British express themselves and their unique sense of humor. 

“Born to Hunt, Forced to March, Ready to Fight.” “Let us Choose.” “Listen to us!” “MINORITIES MATTER.” “First my Hunting, Then my LIFE.” “Farmers’ Supporting Hunting.” “Hunting for Harmony.” “Let’s Keep Hunting.” “Rural Tradition, Not Prohibition.” “Tony’s Cronies Won’t Stop Me from Hunting on My Pony.” “Don’t Perform Country-CIDE on Us.” “Defend Liberty.” “The Countryside has been cut to the bone. Now please leave us alone.” “LEAVE HUNTING ALONE” “Foxes Saved - Farmers Culled.” “Why Ban Hunting?” “Your Choice - My Life.”

“If Hunting Is not for you, then Leave it ALONE.” “Liberty - Yours is Next.” “Field Sports to Stay, the Countryside Says So.” “The Last Dictator to Ban Fox Hunting was Hitler.” “I will Hunt.” “SAVE OUR HUNTING.” “Eat British Lamb, 50,000 Foxes do.” “Hunting Works.” “Never mind the Foreign War, Don’t Start a Civil War.” “Don’t Ban Hunting, I LOVE IT, SO DOES MY DOG.” “You Ban Hunting, We Ban Right to Roam.” “Don’t Kill My Horse, My Dog, My Way of Life.” “Ban Hunting at your Peril.” “Born to Hunt.” “Bang, Out of Order.” (There were lots of these).

“It’s About FREEDOM, WE LOOSE, YOU LOOSE.” “Preserve the Countryside - Pickle Blair.” “Ban Hunting and WE WILL BOOT YOU OUT.” “Why Ban MINORITIES? YOURS COULD BE NEXT.” “I AM HAPPY ABOUT HUNTING.” “WHAT’S NEXT?” “I’M FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM.” “LAST CHANCE BLAIR, LEAVE HUNTING ALONE.” “HANDS OFF HUNTING.” “WHO OWNS THE LAND?” “FOX OFF BLAIR! LEAVE HUNTING ALONE.” “LEAVE US ALONE, TONY BLAIR.” “I don’t hunt, but others have a right to.” “Don’t you Dare, Blair.” “BACK OFF BLAIR!” “I WANT TO HUNT.” “SAVE OUR COUNTRYSIDE.” “HUNTING IS NATURAL - EVEN FOXES DO IT.” “KEEP HUNTING.” “BANNING HUNTING WILL KILL OUR COUNTRYSIDE.” “Keep the cowshit in the country and the bullshit in the city.” (Lots of these) 

“Proud to be a HUNTER.” “FREEDOM MAKES GREAT BRITAIN.” “BEWARE, HUNTING IS ONLY THE THIN EDGE OF THE WEDGE.” “Criminalize hunting - Criminalize us.” “Blair has driven more farmers off their lands than Mugabe.” “Mugabe-Blair: Spot the Difference.” “Just 26,000 people own half of England.” “Q: What do Tony Blair and Robert Mugabe have in Common? A: They both hate white farmers.”

“Marching for the Next Generation.” “We lose! You lose!” “You’ll never stop us! We’ll carry on but illegally.” “Hunting creates life and livelihood.” “The Countryside. . . not a place, a way of life!” “Hunt - Freedom of Choice.” “Stop playing with something you don’t understand.” “We hunt by permission. Let the farmers decide.” “Please leave us alone.” “Hunting Freedom Fighting.” “A good government leads its people. It does not dictate to them!” “We want a countryside to hunt in, not a Theme Park!” “Keep Marching for Freedom.” “We March Because We Care.” 

“Respect Our Culture. The Oldest Culture in England.” “Regulations + Modulation = Strangulation. FREE the Countryside.” “Don’t take our freedom away!?!?” “ The peasants are revolting.” “Don’t take Liberties, Mr. Blair.” “The Green Giant Marches! Handle with Care!” “Compassion without understanding is cruel.” “Ban us maybe, stop us, NEVER.” “Custodian, ‘Yes’, Criminals, ‘No’.” “Fighting for my way of Life.” “Why ban hounds in the countryside when the rest of the country is going to the dogs?” “Ban Bigots, Save Hunters.” “Ban Dictators, START AT HOME.” “Support Hunting - BOOT Labourt out.” “Some like Soccer, Some like Hunting. Don’t let the government decide for you.” “We will not be culturally cleansed.” “Ban Income Tax - a majority don’t like it.” “It’s not over ‘til we win.” “KILL the Tradition, You KILL the Countryside.” “Hunting pre-dates Government. You Exceed Your Authority! ! !” “HUNTING - NO Surrender.” 

“The country way of life is being crushed.” “Never underestimate a minority.” “Hunt, Fish, Shoot, Farm, Fight for Freedom - That’s Natural.” “HUNTING” (a two-person size poster with thousands of signatures). “HUNT - I’m marching today to make certain we can all hunt tomorrow.” “So much for tolerance and diversity!” “No to a ban on hunting, but yes to a ban on ignorance, bigotry and prejudice.” “Democracy, Not Dictatorship.” “The Countryside need is more than you Mr. Blair and New Labourt.” “Get the Urban control freaks off our backs.” “Ban prejudice, not hunting.” “What’s the Use of football?? Ban it!” “FISHING NEXT!” “But where will all the foxes live?” “Leave us hunt in Peace.” “Marching is not working. Let’s hunt the Poodle.” “Don’t make us criminals.” “Rural Britain is not a theme park.” “PRESSURE the countryside and its way of life.” “SAVE US . . . SAVE HUNTING.” (Pictures of horses, dogs and foxes - all 3). “Vermin or The People? Priorities.” 

“DEFRA=Defend every facet of rural activity.” “Your country, your future.” “Hunting is good for hares, foxes, deer and conservation, ask me why.” “Hounded out by Labourt.” “Civil Rights or Civil . . . War. No more dictators.” “Hunt Pride.” (Lots of these). “You can’t eat meat and be against hunting.” “Who’s Hunting Who?” “Protect our countryside and its ways.” “Pistols were not banned, Pistol sports were.” “Ban Blair’s Bully Boys.” “If you stop hunting, you kill British Freedom.” “We’re hunting for Civil Rights.” “Blair, Blair, Black Sheep - Do we have a say? No sir, No sir, I want my own way!” “March for my 88th Birthday” (Poster with lady in wheelchair). “NE TE CONFUN DANT ILLEGITIMI - Don’t let the bastards grind us down.” “We don’t just care about the countryside. We care for it!” “If fox hounds were coloured and all huntsmen gay, we wouldn’t be marching on London today!!!” “Support us too, Tony.” “We love sheep.” “We love hunting.” “Hunting Forever. Ban it? NEVER!” “They will ban sex next.”

“Destroy us and you kill conservation and 1,000 years of culture. We nurture the countryside for all.” “My HENS SAY YES to Fox Hunting.” “LITTLE BO PEEP HAS LOST HER SHEEP - Forced to March - Ready to FIGHT.” “Don’t temp us to fight. Put the countryside right!” “Hunting is Forever - Unlike Politicians.” “Who is the Ethnic Minority Now?” “Live and Let Live.” “FOR FOX SAKE, BAN THE ANTIS.” “I love my country, but I fear any Government.” “Let the country-WISE Run the country.” “Hound someone else.” “Hunting Is a Fundamental Human Right - Genesis. Chapter 27, Verse 3: Take Your Weapons, GO OUT to the fields and Hunt.” “We are Civil & Right.” “League against Cruel Laws.” “My kid will want to hunt.” “Live and Let Hounds live.” “Our land, Our values.” “Hands Off Hunting.” “Hunting is our Heritage.” “SAVE our Country - Pickle an Anti.” “‘Spot’ the Criminal” (Referring to a dog’s name). “I am here for hunting and proud of it.” “Please respect our country way of life.”

“Said the London Rat to the Wily Fox, ‘Consider yourself a lucky B....R! They poison us - everyday’ - Extend hunting. I say!” “U won’t stop me.” “Leave country sports alone.” “Leave country folk issues to country folk.” “Keep Britain Hunting.” “You look after the country, and we’ll look after the countryside.” “Rural Rage.” “We are proud of our countryside, so leave it alone.” “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” “Fight for Freedom of Choice.” “Freedom to Choose.” 
“Who will lead this mighty Band, to fight for Freedom in our land, we HAD DEMOCRACY NOW SO RARE, LOOK to your History Books, Mr. Blair.” “Let Countrymen Survive.” “Countryside, field sport and conservation combine.” “Farmers Hunt.” “CIVIL Liberties for ALL MINORITIES.” “Don’t Judge what you don’t understand.” “It ar’nt that I loves the fox less, but I loves the ‘ound more’.”

“We survived B.S.E., Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth, But T.B. Will be the Death of the countryside!” “Listen to Us NOW OR CRY HAVOC! AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR.” “Country life is to stay.” “War Within the Law.” “Democracy, Not Dictatorship.” “Civil Liberty for ALL minorities.” “Keep hunting! We can, and we will!” “For Fox Sake vote 4 Hunting.” “Save the countryside, KEEP HUNTING.” “HAVE YOU HEARD OUR MESSAGE NOW!” “LEAVE US ALONE.”

Parliament has been headed on a course to ban traditional fox hunting and all hound hunting. There were hearings on “cruelty” and hunting regulations for days before the march. Tony Blair’s Labourt Party that is currently in power has been moving the bills. The leadership of the opposing Conservative Party has promised to reinstate hunting when they come back into power. If fox hunting is lost all hunting and fishing is vulnerable because nothing else has the strength and broad base of support. Winston Churchill’s 80-year-old daughter and granddaughter marched with many other notables. The night before she made a truly convincing speech to save hunting. Prince Charles fudged on the general practice of the British Royal Family not to enter into political forays. He reportedly made a private statement that was plastered by the press across the media. He said that if the hunting is banned he “might as well leave this country and spend the rest of my life skiing.” Does that mean he will give up the throne? Obviously, hunting is important to him, but it is also important to all other sportsmen who are unlikely to be able to match the influence of royalty, celebrities, and 407,791 people to save their own hare or bird hunting. The “townies” would not respect their way of life, or leave them alone to live in peace. – John J. Jackson, III.
 

 
 

Zambia Crocodile
04/28/2002

The Zambia Ministry is not issuing CITES permits to export crocodile sport hunting trophies from Zambia. At my request, Ken Stansell of the US Fish & Wildlife Service met with the new director from Zambia as a courtesy to unravel the problem. It appears that through error the crocodile tags that Zambia received from the CITES Secretariat’s administrative offices in Europe are those for commercial/captive breeding, not those appropriate for sport-taken trophies. There are two kinds of tags, and Zambia only received the commercial kind. This is merely an administrative mistake that will be resolved successfully in due course. Conservation Force has asked the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group, as well as Dole Lewis of ADMADE, to ferret out the problem, but thus far we have no response from the Zambian authorities, whom we have also written to directly.