Wildlife Harvesting in the Third World

Subject: Wildlife Harvesting in the Third World
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 09:11:34 +1000
I agree with much of what has been written about harvesting of wildlife
in Australia but we also need to bear in mind that the situation in the
Third World is very different.

Take for example the situation of peasant farmers living in close proximity 
to wildlife.  When their cattle are taken by lion, or their crops trampled
and eaten by elephant its quite unreasonable to expect them to appreciate
the finer points of conservation and the need to protect these animals on a
global scale.  Their immediate concern is the threat to their person and food
both of which can be life-threatening in the short term.

The only way that they will regard wildlife favourably is if there is some
tangible benefit coming from it and this is where the Zimbabwe program of
CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas management program for indigenous resources) has been
successful. This program has several significant features. The wildlife 
resource is monitored by the government Department of National Parks and 
Wildlife Management which sets quotas of the numbers and species of animals
that can be shot each year. The local communities then allow safari operators
to bid for these quotas and the money goes directly to the local community, not
to the consolidated government revenue (or the pockets of the city chefs!).

In this way the local community sees a direct tangible benefit from protecting
their wildlife rather than regarding it as a liability.

I am not a hunter myself but see nothing wrong with using this source of
revenue if
        (1) it is strict controlled so that the target animal populations are 
                not endangered
        (2) the monies generated go back to the local areas so that
(directly or 
                indirectly) the habitats are preserved.

I realise that the situation is rather different in Australia.  Perhaps the
parallel would be to expect the birders chasing Regent Honeyeaters to pay 
an entry fee of $10-$20 (or even more) to the properties where the birds are

Shock, horror - we shouldn't have to PAY the locals to watch birds .... but
just the attitude that the (white) hunters used to have in Africa!  

In Zim, the conservationists and locals have got together to protect
wildlife and 
habitats, could it work here????


Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy             
School of Veterinary Science & An. Prod.  Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072             WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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