Cheetah, wild dog, lion and leopard all threatened by bush meat trade in Southern Africa02/11/2012 16:14:38 Bushmeat pushes Southern African species to the brink
Cheetah, lion, leopard, and wild dog particularly vulnerable
Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Current rates of bushmeat extraction are unsustainable
Sustainable management of wildlife can make significant contributions to the food security of rural communities and to local and national economies such as through tourism and community-based natural resource management initiatives. In Namibia, for example, well-regulated hunting results in a total of 26 million metric tons of legal, sustainably harvested game meat traded every year.
Where illegal hunting is rampant, trophy-hunting tourism concessions earn as little as 4 percent of what they could if hunting was regulated.
Dr. Rene Czudek from the FAO Subregional Office (SADC), who hosted the workshop said: "There is an urgent need to search for viable solutions that will ensure the sustainable use of SADC's world renowned wildlife resources while contributing to the development of poor rural communities."
Mr. Nyambe Nyambe from the SADC Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Directorate applauded the parties for drawing the attention of SADC to such an important issue, and noted that SADC aims to protect wildlife and their habitats and promote sustainable use of natural resources. He called on all stakeholders to work together to move this process forward.
It was acknowledged at the workshop that illegal bushmeat extraction and the methods used to hunt wildlife impact heavily on key species that need our protection.
Adding to this, Dr. Netty Purchase of ZSL/WCS, said: "Most cheetahs and African wild dogs occur outside protected areas, coexisting with people and their livestock, and are very vulnerable to snaring and the loss of their wild prey."
Dr. Peter Lindsey from Panthera said: "The unique diversity and density of wildlife in SADC countries has potential to create significant economic and social benefits for the people of the region. However, these assets are severely threatened by illegal hunting and the bushmeat trade."
The participants developed a set of guiding principles needed to address bushmeat extraction in the SADC region. They called on SADC to commit to these principles to avert the impending conservation crisis. Failure will not only have dire consequences for biodiversity conservation but will also lead to the collapse of an ecosystem service upon which many of the region's most vulnerable communities depend.
The report: "Illegal hunting and the bush-meat trade in savanna africa: drivers, impacts, and solutions to address the problem" is authored by Panthera, Zoological Society of London, and Wildlife Conservation Society.