Tanzania Hunting Operator Enhancement Audit
On Friday, October 21, 2016, Conservation Force made an extensive submission to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in support of applications for permits to import lion trophies from Tanzania. This submission documents the clear enhancement/benefits generated by safari lion hunting in Tanzania. The submission explains Tanzania’s lion management plan, regulations, and policies to show that lion hunting is well-managed and how the hunting addresses the three primary threats to lion. Most importantly, the submission includes the reports of 27 Tanzanian safari operators. These Operator Enhancement Audits detail and document the operators’ contributions to habitat and prey protection, anti-poaching, and community tolerance. They also explain the operators’ responsible stewardship of prey base species and lion, and the critical role U.S. hunters play in sustaining these efforts.
Among other things, the reports show that, in the last three years, the sample of operators have spent over $6.7 million on anti-poaching, had anti-poaching patrols in the field for 7,170 patrol days in total, arrested 1,409 poachers, and recovered over 6,000 snares and gin traps. The reports further show that the operators have spent over $3.1 million in community projects including constructing two dozen classrooms and four clinics. The operators employ over 1,200 rural Tanzanians, and more for temporary or seasonable work. The reports are supported by 2,700 pages of receipts, photographs, charts, graphs, anti-poaching reports, community letters of thanks, and other primary materials.
Conservation Force’s submission demonstrates that licensed, regulated hunting in Tanzania enhances the survival of the lion. The submission also underscores the importance of the U.S. hunting market for Tanzanian operators, and the critical damage being done by new USFWS regulations and the failure to issue import permits. There has never before been a report of this kind and magnitude.
Copies of the cover letter and summary report of operator contributions are below: