These documents represent a sample of the best-available science on the benefits of regulated hunting as a management tool, economic engine, and means to incentivize habitat preservation and tolerance of wildlife as a shared land use. This subject is well-researched. It is also reflected in presentations by range states that rely on sustainable use as part of their national conservation programs and in news articles and op-eds from those with first-hand knowledge of the benefits of conservation hunting.
Quantifying benefits from regulated hunting in southern and East Africa, including a finding that 22% more habitat is conserved in hunting areas than in national parks—a number which has significantly increased over time given the development of community-based conservation and growth of private conservancies.
By Peter A. Lindsey et al., 134 Biological Conservation 455-469 (2007)
By Andrew J. Loveridge et al., in Recreational Hunting, Conservation and Rural Livelihoods (2009)
Concludes that hunting of lions “contributes substantially to protection of habitat, particularly in East and southern Africa” and has negligible impact on lion populations when well-regulated and monitored.
By Peter A. Lindsey et al., PLoS ONE 7(1) (Jan. 2012)
Analyzing the potential effects of international restrictions on the hunting of lions, and concluding that given such restrictions, “trophy hunting could potentially become financially unviable across at least 59,538 km 2 that could result in a concomitant loss of habitat,” with additional “broader negative impacts including reduction of competitiveness of wildlife-based land uses relative to ecologically unfavourable alternatives” and reduced tolerance of the species among rural communities. READ THE STUDY.
Discussing lion strongholds, which largely exist in countries where lions are hunted due to the habitat incentives.
By Jason Riggio et al., Biodiversity Conserv 22, 17–35 (2013)
By Peter A. Lindsey et al., PLoS ONE 8(1) (2013)
Assessing human tolerance towards carnivores in Namibia; concluding that hunting helps generate revenues that encourage tolerance and reduce retaliatory offtakes; Safari Club submission for consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies and call for evidence recommending that restrictions on trade in hunting trophies be removed to “help create incentives for conservation of those species”. READ THE STUDY.
By Southwick Associates (2014).
Computing the value of hunting tourism in Africa including spending per hunter, job creation, contribution to Gross Domestic Product, etc. READ THE STUDY.
By Paula A. White and Jerrold L. Belant, PLoS ONE 10(2) (2014)
Quantifying the value of meat distributions from hunting to local communities in Zambia and extrapolating results to conclude that hunting in Zambia contributes (at least) 129,771 kg of game meat per year to local communities. READ THE STUDY.
By H. Hrabar and G.I.H. Kerley (2015).
Recommending that implementing a national quota for hunting trophies of Cape mountain zebra could encourage greater investment in this species and thereby expand its range and increase its numbers and genetic diversity.
By Diana Weber et al., 3 Global Ecology and Conservation 389 (Jan. 2015).
Describing problems associated with trade bans, particularly the reduction of conservation incentives; concluding that the ban in lawful trade in polar bears “has not provided the intended outcome of a reduction in polar bear mortality … but rather contributed to a decline in economic opportunities for Arctic communities” and recommending against use of trade bans that reduce conservation incentives. READ THE STUDY.
By Southwick Associates (Nov. 2015).
Describing the economic benefits of hunting tourism in eight countries in Africa and concluding (among other things) that the approximately 18,000 hunters per year contributed $326.5 million per year between 2012 and 2014. READ THE STUDY.
By Enrico Di Minin et al., Trends in Ecology and Evolution (2016).
Arguing that blanket bans on hunting or trophy imports are detrimental to conservation efforts because they reduce the financial benefits generated from hunting, remove hunting as a viable land-use (particularly in areas where photographic tourism is not viable or is too damaging on the ecosystem), and fail to account for the fact that hunting “places emphasis on maintaining large wildlife populations for offtake, as opposed to ecotourism, where the presence of only a few individual animals is sufficient to maximize profits” (among other reasons). READ THE STUDY.
Concluding that the WAP ecosystem represents the last lion stronghold of West Africa, largely due to incentives from regulated hunting, and “an import embargo on lion trophies from the WAP … could ruin the incentive of local actors to conserve lions in hunting areas, and lead to a drastic reduction of lion range in West Africa”
By Philippe Bouché et al., PLoS One 11(5) (2016)
By Robin Naidoo et al., 30 Conservation Biology 628-38 (2016).
Evaluating the benefits from photographic and hunting tourism for communal conservancies in Namibia and finding that total benefits generated were roughly the same but of different character (i.e., benefits from photographic tourism accrued as salaries and benefits from hunting accrued as income for conservancy management and game meat); concluding that 84% of communal conservancies would be unable to operate if hunting were prohibited, while 41% of conservancies would be unable to operate if photographic tourism were banned. READ THE STUDY.
By Joseph Ogutu et al., PLoS ONE 11(9) (2016).
Analyzing the almost 70% declines in wildlife in Kenya’s rangelands and the contemporaneous increase in livestock between 1977 and 2016; attributing this decline to human population growth, decreasing rainfall, rising temperatures, and “the fundamental cause … policy, institutional and market failures” to incentivize wildlife conservation. READ THE STUDY.
By Byron du Preez et al. (Jan. 31, 2016).
Describing the steps taken by Zimbabwe to improve management of lion hunting and the conservation benefits provided by lion hunting in Zimbabwe, citing examples from Bubye Valley and Savé Valley Conservancies.
Discussing regulating hunting and providing case studies of where hunting has supported conservation and wildlife management around the world.
By Dilys Roe et al. through the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (Apr. 2016)
Describing the positive impacts of hunting and some arguments against hunting and providing case studies of conservation and wildlife management benefits from hunting.
By R. Cooney et al., Unasylva 249 (2017/1)
By Joseph E. Mbaiwa, South African Geographic Journal (2018).
Concluding that the 2014 moratorium on hunting in Botswana reduced tourism benefits for local communities (e.g., loss of income, employment opportunities, social services), and contributed to the development of negative attitudes towards wildlife among rural residents. READ THE STUDY.
Bby Melville Saayman et al., Global Ecology and Conservation 16 (2018).
Calculating the economic impact of the trophy hunting industry in South Africa and concluding that it generates over $341 million annually for the South African economy and supports more than 17,000 jobs. READ THE STUDY.
Noting that regulated hunting incentivizes the conservation of black and white rhinos; reflecting positive black rhino population trends in Namibia and South Africa and largely stable white rhino trends.
By Richard H Emslie et al., CoP18 Doc. 83.1 Annex 2 (2019)
Selected Government Documents
Opposing the proposed listing of lions under the U.S. Endangered Species Act out of concern for the detrimental impact of barriers to trade on national lion conservation programs.
By Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (Jan. 27, 2015)
Describing sustainable and science-based leopard management in Mozambique and the beneficial impacts of hunting.
(AC30, May 2018)
Describing the benefits of wildlife, including conservation hunting, for Namibia’s communal conservancies, and the consequent growth in game populations in these areas.
By NACSO (2017)
Describing sustainable and science-based leopard management in Namibia.
(AC30, May 2018)
Describing Namibia’s internationally acclaimed communal conservancy program.
By Maxi Pia Louis, Director, NACSO (Sept. 2018)
Describing how reduced barriers to trophy trade will incentivize and fund increased conservation of the white rhino in Namibia.
CoP18 Prop. 9 (202019)
Describing how reduced barriers to trophy trade will incentivize landowners to increase populations of the Cape mountain zebra.
By Republic of South Africa, CoP16 Prop. 6 (2016)
Describing how regulated hunting will help to incentivize and fund increased black rhino conservation in South Africa) (This proposal was accepted by the Conference of the Parties to CITES.
By the Republic of South Africa, CoP18 Doc. 48 (2019)
Describing sustainable and science-based leopard management in Tanzania and quantifying the benefits of leopard hunting, including wildlife management revenues.
United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (AC30, May 2018)
Describing sustainable and science-based elephant and lion management in Tanzania and quantifying the benefits of hunting, including wildlife management revenues.
By Imani Richard Nkuwi, Director of Wildlife Utilization and Business Services, Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (Sept. 2018)
Discussing the healthy and increasing markhor populations in Pakistan and the role of hunting in supporting community based conservation.
By the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Oct. 6, 2014)
Describing the healthy populations of argali sheep in Central Asia and the role of hunting in supporting conservation and incentivizing habitat protection and anti-poaching.
By the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Nov. 13, 2017)
Describing sustainable and science-based leopard management in Zambia and quantifying the benefits of leopard hunting.
Department of National Parks and Wildlife (AC30, May 2018)
Describing the crucial role that elephant hunting plays in generating conservation incentives for Zimbabwe’s internationally recognized (and heavily supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development) rural community conservation program.
By CAMPFIRE Association (Dec. 2016)
Describing sustainable and science-based leopard management in Tanzania and quantifying the benefits of leopard hunting, including wildlife management revenues
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (AC30, May 2018)
Describing sustainable and science-based wildlife management in Zimbabwe and quantifying the benefits of hunting.
By Roseline Mandisodza-Chikerema, Chief Ecologist, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Sept. 2018)
Explaining the implementation of sustainable and science-based management of elephant and lions, pursuant to a number of management plans, as well as the benefits of hunting for Zimbabwe’s rural communities and for sustaining the wildlife authority.
By Patience Gandiwa (July 18, 2019)
By Joseph E. Mbaiwa, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana (Sept. 2018).
Discussing documented benefits of hunting for rural communities in Botswana; describing results of study on impact of 2014 suspension of hunting on rural communities including revenue and job loss, increased intolerance for elephants and other species. READ THE PRESENTATION.
By Hannah Downey and Catherine Semcer, Property and Environment Research Center (Mar. 2019).
Recommending changes to U.S. policy to improve engagement with African countries, increase conservation benefits, and achieve international development goals. READ THE PRESENTATION.
Prepared statement of Catherine E. Semcer, Research Fellow, Property and Environment Research Center (July 18, 2019).
Discussing the importance of U.S. policy in encouraging conservation, including hunting. READ THE PRESENTATION.
By Brian Child, University of Florida (Oct. 16-17, 2019).
Drawing lessons from management of lands and wildlife for over 70 years in Africa; recommending methods of “rewilding” including giving local stakeholders incentives to rely on wildlife instead of agriculture and cattle; noting that hunting pays for 80% of initial rewilding. READ THE PRESENTATION.
Expert Testimonials (Op-Eds)
Explaining how regulated hunting benefits black rhinos through increasing available range, removing problem bulls that depress reproductive rates, and generating funding to be reinvested in rhino conservation.
By Mike Knight and Richard Emslie, CNN.com (May 21, 2015)
Explaining how lion hunting benefits conservation in Zimbabwe and southern Africa.
By Niki Rust and Diogo Verissimo, CNN.com (July 30, 2015)
Arguing against overreaction to public response regarding the harvest of Cecil the lion in 2015 because of the crucial role that regulated hunting plays in conserving lions.
By Terry L. Anderson and Shawn Regan, Wall Street Journal (Aug. 6, 2015)
Defending hunting from the viewpoint of scientists who see its value for rhino conservation.
By Richard Emslie and Michael Knight, Chairs of the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group, Independent (Mar. 19, 2016)
Pointing out the challenge of living with wildlife experienced by rural Africans and arguing that those voices must be listened to in debates over hunting.
By Rosie Cooney, Chair of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, Washington Post (Nov. 21, 2017)
Explaining why hunting is beneficial for lion and elephant conservation, specifically contrasting hunting and poaching.
By Terry L. Anderson and Hannah Downey, Wall Street Journal (Nov. 28, 2017)
Explaining why blanket bans on hunting and imports/exports will have negative effects for wildlife conservation.
Science Magazine (2019)
Refuting assertion that the IUCN concluded that trophy hunting is not a component of conservation and providing specific examples of how hunting benefits wildlife and rural livelihoods in southern and East Africa.
By Dilys Roe (Chair of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group) et al., Daily Maverick (May 13, 2019)
Explaining why conservationists should support regulated hunting, rather than seek to ban it based on emotion or distorted facts; pointing out the success of wildlife in countries that rely on hunting as part of their conservation system compared to countries that do not.
By Jens Ulrik Hogh, International Policy Tribune (June 11, 2019)
Explaining, with specific examples from the author’s experience in Ethiopia, that non-consumptive use and sustainable consumptive use are both necessary for conservation to achieve its fullest potential benefits.
By Jason Roussos, Daily Maverick (June 12, 2019)
Explaining the reasons for re-opening elephant hunting in Botswana.
By H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, Wall Street Journal (June 19, 2019)
Speaking from experience as Zimbabwe wildlife authority manager about how regulated hunting helps mitigate the primary threats facing lions and elephants in Africa.
By George Pangeti, Daily Caller (July 21, 2019)
Describing, based on the author’s research, some of the benefits of regulated hunting and the limitations on photographic tourism as a replacement for those benefits in arguing against international restrictions on hunting or trade in hunting trophies.
By Catherine Semcer (Sept. 6, 2019)
Explaining from the viewpoint of the head of Zimbabwe’s wildlife authority why stricter domestic measures in the U.S. would detrimentally impact wildlife conservation and rural community livelihoods in Zimbabwe.
By Fulton Upenyu Mangwanya, Director General, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Washington Examiner (Sept. 18, 2019)
Arguing from the viewpoint of a non-hunting research scientist why banning hunting will negatively impact wildlife and habitat.
By Paolo Strampelli, Conservation Frontlines (Jan. 2020)
Defending hunting, from the viewpoint of a zoologist and non-hunter based on first-hand observations in southern Africa, for preserving habitat and generating incentives to protect and conserve wildlife.
By Adam Hart, The Critic (Jan. 2020)
Discussing the negative impacts of a ban in importing regulated hunting trophies.
By Amy Dickman and Catherine E. Semcer, The Hill (Feb. 5, 2020)
Discussing the benefits of sustainable use and why photographic tourism is not a panacea for funding conservation in Africa.
By Dilys Roe, International Institute for Environment and Development (Apr. 1, 2020)
Explaining the negative impact of an importation ban in California, one of the largest markets for international trophies, because of reduced conservation incentives.
By Fulton Upenyu Mangwanya (June 17, 2020)
By Tinashe Farawo, Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) (July 19, 2020)
The ability of African nations to conserve ecosystems would be undermined by a bill that would ban Californians from hunting and possessing hunting trophies. READ MORE.
News / Magazine Articles and Blogs
Describing the incentives generated by regulated hunting for community-based conservation in Tajikistan and resultant increase in markhor and snow leopard populations. READ THE ARTICLE.
Explaining the recovery of bontebok populations in South Africa due in large part to the contributions of regulated hunting. READ THE ARTICLE.
Explaining the benefits of markhor hunting for communities in Tajikistan and the recovery of the species, as well as its predators (snow leopard and brown bear). READ THE ARTICLE.
Describing the many benefits that hunting brings to Zimbabwe’s community-based natural resources management program, CAMPFIRE, and how trophy import bans diminish those benefits. READ THE ARTICLE.
Describing the success of the U.S. Duck Stamp program in recovering the wood duck and other waterfowl. READ THE ARTICLE.
Reporting on the detrimental impact of the moratorium on hunting in Botswana to rural communities. READ THE ARTICLE.
Discussing study by researcher in Namibia that quantified the detrimental impact of banning hunting. READ THE ARTICLE.
Reporting on the crucial role of hunting in preserving wildlife habitat and the resultant recovery of six species (waterfowl, Bukharan markhor, Cape buffalo, whitetail deer, wild turkey, and bighorn sheep). READ THE ARTICLE.
Describing translocation of wildlife from conservancy in Zimbabwe that is almost wholly funded by hunting revenues to restock park in Mozambique. READ THE ARTICLE.
Defending the issuance of permits to import elephant trophies into the U.S. based on how hunting can counteract the primary threats of habitat loss and poaching. READ THE ARTICLE.
Describing the negative impacts of the hunting moratorium in Botswana on communitybased conservation. READ THE ARTICLE.
Explaining how hunters in the field contribute to anti-poaching in the U.S. READ THE ARTICLE.
Interviewing Shafqat Hussain, an anthropology professor at Trinity College and National Geographic “emerging explorer,” about the benefits of markhor hunting for communities in Pakistan and the recovery of the species. READ THE ARTICLE.
Explaining how black rhino hunting provides conservation benefits in Namibia, specifically refuting public outcry against U.S. allowing importation of black rhino trophy. READ THE ARTICLE.
Explaining why stricter domestic measures in the U.S. would have no conservation benefit for wildlife in Africa. READ THE ARTICLE.
Describing benefits from regulated hunting in Dzoti Conservancy in Namibia. READ THE ARTICLE.
Providing a scientific and technical response to moral objections to hunting. READ THE ARTICLE.
Describing financial and livelihood benefits to workers in the safari hunting industry and related industries across southern Africa, in both rural and more urban areas. READ THE ARTICLE.
By Sunday Standard Reporter, Sunday Standard (Mar. 10, 2020)
According to provincial wildlife department, the introduction of trophy-hunting has helped the local Markhor population grow from a mere 600 in Chitral to approximately 4,000 to 5,000 goats in the last three decades. “Locals would previously hunt down the goats in excess, much of which was illegal and brought our Markhor population close to extinction.
To save the population, we shut down all Markhor-hunting activities and introduced trophy-hunting, which is greatly controlled and generates revenue. The first foreigner to be allowed to hunt was a German who paid $1,500 in 1998 for a single goat. Today, shooting a Markhor can cost upwards of $150,000, which was last paid by an American hunter in 2019,” shared an official of the wildlife department.