SCI Foundation Strives to Improve Communications.
This month, the e-News features a summary of Matt Eckert’s trip to Tel Aviv, Israel to participate in the 28th Annual CITES conference as well as a summary of the Campfire program by Dr. Alan W. Maki, SCIF Conservation Committee Chair & Charles Jonga, Director CAMPFIRE Association.
In addition, this edition also features the following:
- Michigan Deer Project Continues.
- Pathfinder Award… A Trip of a Lifetime.
- Always Making a Difference – Archers win NASP World Championship.
- Larry and Brenda Potterfield Visit International Wildlife Museum.
- First for Wildlife Endowment Overview
SCI Foundation is making great strides in promoting our mission and the impact of wildlife conservation and education worldwide, the e-News allows us to share our successes with you and others. Please take a moment and forward this e-news to others on your mailing list to help us spread the word.
Hunting is Conservation: The CAMPFIRE program in Zimbabwe.By Dr. Alan W. Maki, SCIF Conservation Committee Chair & Charles Jonga, Director CAMPFIRE Association Program History
Around the world, on essentially every continent, there are numerous examples where hunting has directly supported sustainable conservation programs for big game animals. Zimbabwe, a country that has been in recent headlines regarding hunting, has an excellent example of one such highly successful program. Zimbabwe, in common with most other African countries, inherited from its colonial past a system of State ownership of wildlife that resulted in a decline of wildlife outside of protected areas. The Parks and Wildlife Act of 1975 gave private landholders in pre-independent Zimbabwe the right to manage wildlife for their own benefit, and this heralded an immediate reversal in wildlife declines on private land. In 1982, the legal provisions of this Act were extended to Rural District Councils (RDCs), on behalf of rural communities in communal lands in whose areas viable populations of wildlife are found. It enabled them to manage and benefit from wildlife resources through the program called Community Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). Communal areas in Zimbabwe are administered by RDCs, and these have become the mechanism for implementation of government’s policy of “conservation by utilization” of natural resources.
The CAMPFIRE Program was initiated in 1988 in Zimbabwe as a means to ensure that local communities benefited from hunting safari concessions operating in their area. CAMPFIRE was designed to give control of wildlife management to rural communities, so that they would invest in wildlife and habitat conservation and in turn, receive dividends. Under the program, villagers work with government agencies to develop sustainable wildlife management programs based on hunting controlled numbers of wildlife from their areas. Profits from the project are used for communal benefit or distributed to individual households at the discretion of the community. Rural district councils are authorized to market wildlife resources in their districts to safari operators on behalf of communities. Safari operators sell hunting and photographic safaris to mostly foreign sport hunters and eco-tourists, before paying the communities a percentage of costs which is essentially a dividend resulting from the sustainable management of their wildlife, especially safari hunting.
28th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Held in Israel.The 28th Meeting of the CITES Animals Committee was held in September and was attended by representatives of SCI Foundation and SCI. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an agreement between governments that regulates international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants to ensure that trade does not threaten their survival. The Animals Committee is a scientific committee of CITES that undertakes a special review of the biology and trade in select species.
CITES Secretary General John Scanlon opened the conference by reminding participants that while there are many views on species, CITES is governed by the text of the CITES convention and decisions must be science-based. In essence, the leader of the CITES convention said that some interests, such as animals rights and welfare interests, lie outside of this convention–bold remarks in the present climate.
Safari Club’s top issues at this meeting involved the African lion, polar bear, hippopotamus, and white-lipped peccary.
The Animals Committee was expecting a report on the status of African lion, and with it, a recommendation on which Appendix, either I or II, lion should be listed. However, the lion range states were not prepared to make a recommendation. Currently, lions are listed in Appendix II, and this means that only an export permit is required for international trade of hunting trophies. If lions are listed as Appendix I, it will become more difficult to import trophies, especially if a government has stricter domestic measures set for Appendix I listed species.
From here, a few things could happen on this issue. CITES may split the range of lion and list West and Central Africa in Appendix I, while most hunting countries in Southern Africa would remain in Appendix II. Governments generally do not “split-list” species because enforcement of importation can become a nightmare. The Animals Committee has granted lion range states four months to reach consensus on a listing recommendation. If consensus is not reach by January, then an Appendix I proposal is likely to be submitted in 2016 at the next major CITES meeting.
Like lion, the polar bear was also in a special review, but this review was looking at whether trade levels were detrimental to the survival of the species. A thorough review of the management and status of polar bears, as well as trade levels in the species, found trade not to be significant for any range states. All range states were removed from the review.
This is an important outcome as it tells the world that the scientific body of CITES believes polar bears are appropriately listed as Appendix II, and that no information reviewed by the Animals Committee suggests polar bear should be listed in Appendix I. Animal welfare groups were not pleased with this outcome because they know their hopes for an Appendix I listing are fading away.
The same result occurred for white-lipped peccary, which is opportunistically hunted in South America, and harvest will continue as usual.
Cameroon hippopotamus, on the other hand, is still under special review until we can determine that harvest levels are non-detrimental. Currently, Cameroon is allowed a quota of 10 hippos each year until they demonstrate that a larger harvest can be supported. SCI Foundation recently offered assistance to Cameroon to gather information and report on the status of their hippos at the next CITES meeting.
SCI Foundation is pleased to see that John Scanlon’s concerns have not infiltrated into the decisions made by the CITES Animals Committee; science is still the basis of decision making.
To learn more about SCI Foundation Conservations Programs, visit our Conservation webpage at http://safariclubfoundation.org/conservation
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First for Wildlife Endowment
The principal will always remain in the endowment. The SCI Foundation board will administer the funding process through a grant selection committee for wildlife conservation and education. Below are just a few examples of past projects. With your help we can do much more!
- International Conservation: SCI Foundation has provided over $80,000 for equipment and tools to help combat the increase in poaching of the black rhinoceros in southern Africa.
- Science-based Wildlife Research: In the past six months, SCI Foundation has donated $350,000 to fund multiple predator/prey projects in the U.S. and Canada, such as the woodland caribou research in Newfoundland. The results of these studies will help properly manage predators and prey in systems where both exist.
- Conservation Education: Since the year 2000, SCI Foundation has awarded $300,000 to sixty-one college students majoring in wildlife management, natural resource management, or a related field of study.
In order to have greater impact on the species we love to hunt and to ensure future generations of hunters have the same opportunities, we need to continue to raise funds to support these types of programs.
Learn more about the First for Wildlife Endowment.
“From an early age, my parents instilled in me a love of the great outdoors and hunting. Now, I am proud to be able to pass those values on to my children. It’s become a family tradition. As a result, I am a major advocate for Safari Club International Foundation, and I feel privileged to give back to make a difference for wildlife. I encourage you to join me in the cause by supporting the First for Wildlife Endowment. “
Warren Sackman, III
SCI Foundation Donor and Board Member