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How Trophy Hunting Can Help To Many Endangered Species

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In the article, “Economic and Conservation Significance of the Trophy Hunting Industry in Sub-Saharan Africa”, biologists and conservationists, P.A. Lindsey, P.A. Roulet, and S.S. Romanach discuss how trophy hunting has started to benefit natural ecosystems across the African continent, and also how it could continue to do so in the future when it is properly regulated and maintained. They begin their study review of trophy hunting by stating that, “There is a lack of consensus among some conservation NGOs and African governments concerning the acceptability and effectiveness of trophy hunting as a conservation tool. This lack of consensus is due partly to a lack of reliable information on the economic significance and ecological impact of the industry” (2006). This beginning statement indicates that the authors believe that people’s information on trophy hunting is skewed and that the general public is not being exposed to the facts and evidence of the effects of trophy hunting on wildlife and natural ecosystems as a whole. They continue their study review by explaining and supporting with facts the many ecological and economical impacts of trophy hunting. They state, “A minimum of 1,394,000 km2 is used for trophy hunting in sub-Saharan Africa, which exceeds the area encompassed by national parks. Trophy hunting is thus of major importance to conservation in Africa by creating economic incentives for conservation over vast areas, including areas which may be unsuitable for alternative wildlife-based land uses such as photographic ecotourism” (2006). This proves that trophy hunts are a tremendous help to African game preserves and African economies. The authors then change their topic of discussion and explain how the popular media has a large impact on people’s opinions on trophy hunting in Africa and throughout the entire world. They state, “Discussion concerning trophy hunting is polarized, with animal rights groups and protectionists on one side, and hunters and pragmatic conservationists on the other (Hutton and Leader-Williams, 2003; Loveridge et al., 2006). This polarisation is exacerbated by a lack of reliable data on the impact of trophy hunting on wildlife conservation. Most information on African trophy hunting occurs in unpublished grey literature, and discussion of hunting in the popular media is sometimes emotive” (2006). This statement indicates that the media is influencing people’s opinions to cast a negative view on trophy hunting, whereas, the cold-hard facts about trophy hunting are widely unheard of and not reported through the popular media. The last piece of information from this article that I found very valuable in my research paper was the author’s discussion of how trophy hunting can be sustainable. They state, “Well monitored trophy hunting is inherently self-regulating, because modest off-take is required to ensure high trophy quality and thus marketability of the area in future seasons. Accordingly, off-takes for many species are well below available quotas” (2006). This indicates that even trophy hunters take considerations into the conservation of wildlife they hunt so that they can continue to trophy hunt and more importantly, preserve that wildlife for future generations to enjoy. Trophy hunting also can generate large profits that can be used to improve and sustain local communities and continue natural conservation efforts without harming the population growth of endangered species. The authors state, “trophy hunting can also play an important role in the rehabilitation of wildlife areas by permitting income generation from wildlife without jeopardizing population growth of trophy species” (2006). This means that trophy hunting benefits local communities and animal ecosystems by providing both income and population growth. The authors make a concluding remark that I felt could be very useful in my research paper. They state, “Trophy hunting is a major industry in parts of Africa, creating incentives for wildlife conservation over vast areas which otherwise might be used for alternative and less conservation friendly land uses” (2006).

I felt that this source was very useful in my research because it made claims that supported my argument and had comprehensive evidence to support it. I felt that this source was better than some of my other sources because it contained a large amount of useful information supported by evidence from scientific research and scientific studies. I did not feel that this source was biased because the authors mentioned both sides of the arguments and presented the pros and cons of both sides of this controversy.

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This source fits into my research because it is a prime example of how trophy hunting has helped many endangered species experience population growth while at the same time helping local communities and economies. This source has enhanced how I think about this topic in the way that I can see how trophy hunting has positively affected an entire region and improved its’ efforts to conserve endangered animal species.

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