Safari Club International (SCI) has launched a new webpage, International Hunting, to combat misconceptions about international hunting through presenting data and scientific research, and sharing African perspectives.
SCI routinely advocates against misinformed proposals to restrict import or international trade in legal, regulated hunting trophies. The new webpage is intended to make policymakers and the general public aware of the benefits that regulated hunting generates for species conservation and the rural communities who live with wildlife. As anti-hunting sentiment grows in the media and public perceptions, it is critical for decision makers to understand the facts.
The new webpage highlights key benefits from hunting, such as funding for range state conservation programs; “boots on the ground” support for anti-poaching; control of abundant species and nuisance animals to help reduce human-wildlife conflicts; and improvement of rural community livelihoods. The page does not ask readers to rely on SCI’s word alone. It highlights research from independent scientists, African wildlife managers, and rural community leaders.
To maximize the information available for users, the International Hunting page draws from and links back to “Hunt the Facts,” SCI’s database of articles, range country data, and other documentation about the benefits of hunting. One of the key takeaways from the new webpage should be that science is on the side of regulated hunting—it has been demonstrated as a sustainable and effective solution for recovering or increasing wildlife populations and reducing human-wildlife conflicts. It is no accident that the world’s largest populations of African elephant, leopard, lion, black and white rhino, and many other species inhabit the very countries where they are sustainably hunted.
“We hope the new site will help educate policymakers and members of the public who perhaps have realized that importing countries like the U.S. and the U.K. should not be trying to dictate the management of African wildlife species,” said Ben Cassidy, SCI’s EVP of International, Government and Public Affairs. “Hunting has been shown to protect huge areas of habitat and to dis-incentivize poaching and retaliatory killing. The range states and local communities have tried, time and again, to get this message across. We hope that SCI’s new webpage can help amplify their message, and make it more accessible to a U.S. and European audience.”
The webpage also provides up to date information on the current and most threatening attacks to international hunting, including upcoming legislation and initiatives from the UK and US. Readers will be able to “Take Action” on the latest issues threatening science-based conservation initiatives.
As SCI continues its mission to be First for Hunters around the world, it is vital for both hunters and non-hunters alike to understand the benefits from hunting to conservation. Biodiversity, ecosystem health, and human-wildlife coexistence all stand to increase from well-managed international hunting. SCI encourages policy makers, the general public, and all those involved in conservation issues to support hunters, listen to science, and promote African leadership.