Trophy hunting and lions – a short update

So far I’ve been talking with private reserve managers here in South Africa about the pressures they face in conserving wildlife. But of course many animals, including lions, are in National Parks and in unfenced, wild, areas. I’ve started to appreciate the “it pays it stays” argument for fenced areas – they require expensive management and that money has to come from somewhere. However, does this “commercialisation of wildlife” argument ring true for animals living outside of our direct management?
Today I’m meeting with lion conservation experts to discuss lion biology, distribution and the threats they face. I want to know not just whether trophy hunting of lions in fenced and unfenced areas is sustainable but whether the money the hunters provide really does contribute to conservation. After all, trophy hunters are not making a sustainability argument – they are saying that their activities are crucial to conservation, and this is the issue that needs to be explored.
I’ll try to blog what I’ve found out later today.

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