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Defining Trophy Hunting
  • Any horn, ivory, tooth, tusk, bone, claw, hoof, hide, skin, hair or other durable portion whatsoever of any animal, whether processed or not, which is recognizable as the durable portion of any animal; &
  • The egg of any animal; &
  • Anything of which the durable portion of any animal forms a part, which is declared to be a trophy.
Thus, trophy hunting means hunting an animal to achieve access to a part or parts of its body, generally for the personal pleasure of the hunter.
CITES allows and regulates international trade in endangered species including trophy hunting of species listed under the different Appendices of the Convention.
Benefits of trophy hunting
Trophy hunting is a biodiversity and conservation management tool where a hunting permit is not issued unless it is satisfied that the hunting is necessary for scientific purposes or any other purpose in the interests of conservation of animals.
Trophy hunting has made a significant impact on local communities that live adjacent to wildlife areas through programmes such as the Zimbabweʼs Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in various districts. This isnʼt just idle speculation – during the CITES stakeholder meeting held at ZimParks Gardens, Chief Chisunga highlighted the benefits of trophy hunting in his community. Schools, clinics and roads have been built from the proceeds of trophy hunting.
Regulated hunting creates employment for skilled and unskilled locals in the form of professional hunters, trackers, skinners and general camp attendees, provides protein (meat) doing away with a major reason for poaching, ensures community buy-in on wildlife conservation programs through community participation, controls wildlife populations and reduces animal spillage.
Whatʼs more, Zimbabwe has a proud history of successful conservation that has led to an increased species population. During the CITES stakeholder meeting, Dr Jeremiah Chakuya ZimParks Principal Ecologist highlighted that Zimbabwe has the second-largest population of elephants in the world between 90 000 – 100000.
This results in overpopulation and competition for space between humans and wildlife, leading to a surge in incidences of human-wildlife conflict. Itʼs against such a backdrop that trophy hunting is used as a wildlife management tool to control the wildlife population and to raise income for these communities. Thus, regulated hunting helps maintain wildlife populations at levels compatible with human activity and land use.

 

 

 

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