Zero leopard quotas — is it fair?

Leoni Kruger
The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) informed their members and the public last week that there is NO ‘ban’ on leopard hunting.
“CITES allocated 150 leopard tags to South Africa for 2016. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) however advised the Minister of Environmental Affairs not to issue leopard quota for the current year.
This advice was based on SANBI’s Non Detrimental Finding (NDF) that there are simply too many uncertainties about the actual health of SA’s leopard population to advise the Minister otherwise. DEA’s announcement of zero leopard quota for 2016 is therefore an adaptive management measurement.
DEA and SANBI expressed the wish to engage both the professional hunting and wildlife ranching industry to assist in the drafting of norms and standards and embark on a coherent approach to get national monitoring and leopard management systems in place.”
Professional hunters and landowners are invited to share historic data, fixed camera-trap photos, GPS coordinates, proof of illegal off-takes and any other useful information that can assist in establishing the sustainability of future leopard off-take, to PHASA.
PHASA intends to do everything within its power and means to get leopard quota reinstated in 2017”.
In the meantime, messages of extreme disappointment and displeasure was announced by several hunting outfitters on social media about no zero leopard quota for Limpopo in 2016.
Professional Hunter and outfitter Phillip Bronkhorst, the owner of PBS Safaris, commented about this on his Facebook page: “Unfortunately the end result of this uneducated decision is that leopard will have no value and the illegal unsustainable killing of the cats will skyrocket having completely the opposite effect as was planned by government. This will result in the huge loss of the much needed scientific data which is collected. I am a farmer, a hunter and conservationist with 25 years’ experience living amongst farmers and locals. Hunters care. In almost eight years we have through donations trained almost 90 PDI and have skill transferred programmes in place. It is easy to blame but become part of a farming community and be proactive on the ground not just on your computer. It is easy to be vocal but when you have to lay out thousands of rand to protect your livestock with no possible plan to have it protected the reality will kick in. Are each of you willing to donate like the safari outfitters R5 000 or more each to the conservation and Carnivore research project that was launched in Limpopo in 2015 by Safari Outfitters? If so send me your details and I will provide you with the full project details and bank account. The scary part is that LIMPOPO has only one researcher who is sitting in his office proactively participating in the game of solitaire and other computer generated games instead of getting his arse out of office and do what he is supposed to do. Instead other organizations are doing his job for him at the taxpayers cost. Be proactive and be seen, not heard”.
Phillip can be contacted on 082 552 7269 or

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