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URGENT APPEAL TO SAVE SOUTH AFRICAN WILDLIFE FROM "CON"SERVATION!

URGENT APPEAL TO SAVE SOUTH AFRICAN WILDLIFE FROM "CON"SERVATION!
  
  

 


Why this is important

TEN CARACAL AND JACKAL LISTED TO BE KILLED EVERY DAY, ALL YEAR ROUND.

TWO MONKEYS/BABOONS LISTED TO BE KILLED, DAILY ALL YEAR ROUND.

WILDEBEES, WARTHOG AND ZEBRA LISTED TO BE HUNTED WITH A BOW AND ARROW IN UNLIMITED NUMBERS.

DOES THIS LOOK LIKE CONSERVATION TO YOU?

Hunters and landowners are now able to shoot arrows into various species such as wildebeest, nyala, zebra, warthog and impala without any limit on numbers.

Ten Caracal, two baboons and two monkeys – three species protected under Appendix 2 of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species), may be killed every day, all year round according to the 2015 Hunting Notice by Cape Nature Conservation.

Bow hunting has been introduced; the legal ban on bow hunting (because of its barbaric cruelty) in Sec 29 of the Ordinance has simply been 'suspended' - without public input or debate.


We the undersigned call on South African Nature Conservation authorities in all nine provinces;

- To allow for wide public participation before any decisions are made that affect South African wildlife
- To protect South African Wildlife and work towards a healthy biodiversity.
- To remove bow hunting as a hunting choice from the annual hunting notice in the Western Cape and any other province where it is listed as a hunting option.
To provide current scientific papers approved by a wide range of interested parties about the populations of each species listed on the hunting list.
- To remove all species listed on CITES Appendix 2 from the annual hunting list.
- To include animal welfare as part of Nature Conservation's mandate.
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WHY CONSERVATION IS NOT WORKING IN S.A.:

Successful biodiversity conservation depends as much on the relations between so called “resources” and its users as it does on sound scientific and biological knowledge. Hunting as a conservation management tool has proved to be an unrealistic ideal that may sound plausible in theory (if one doesn’t dig deeper) but is far from realistic in practice.
If we were to officially research the extent to which this is working, we would find that conservation is played out with the users largely abusing conservation laws; current, scientific data of populations is not available, public participation is often excluded from the decision making process and the
authorities do not monitor hunting practices.

The view that sustainable use is workable is a myth fed to us to justify the blood lust and greed of certain sectors of society.

Hunting is unethical, is not biologically sustainable, and the use of markets as a conservation tool exacerbates the overuse of animals rather than conserves them.


Is it any wonder that the public is beginning to question whether South African Nature Conservation authorities are working to protect the self-serving interests of farmers and hunters at the expense of a healthy biodiversity?

In one of his recent blogs, Chris Mercer (Campaign Against Canned Hunting says; “Anyone who doubts that Big Hunting controls conservation in S.A. should read the 2015 Hunting notice.” He is far from alone in having this view; those working hands on in South African wildlife rehab centres see the consequences of this daily when animal victims of farmers, landowners, poachers etc. are brought in.

Where is the recent scientific data to help the public understand how these “conservation” principles have been arrived at?
As far as primates are concerned, the only populations that are officially monitored are in the Cape Peninsula and even that is buried in secrecy. Current decisions surrounding primate management are based on old outdated data that appears to justify the true intentions that lie behind our conservation laws.

South African tax payers have a right to ensure that their tax money is being used to support true conservation as opposed to subsidising the hunting industry.

PRIMATES LISTED ON THE HUNTING NOTICE:

The fact that wild primates – the chacma baboon and vervet monkey – are listed on the annual hunting notice is particularly disturbing and revealing as there appears to be no valid reason for this at all; they are not venison and neither do they make “good” sport targets.

Are they perhaps listed on the hunting notice for the simple reason that landowners need an excuse to legitimately persecute them as “problem animals”?

Hunting primates and zoonotic diseases:
Humans, baboons and monkeys all belong to the primate family making the transmission of diseases between them particularly risky. Baboons share 92% of the same DNA as humans, monkeys share 91% and bonobos share 99%. The presence of wild primates on the hunting list encourages the consumption of bushmeat and the consequential spreading of zoonotic diseases (Simian Foamy Virus, TB, Ebola etc.)

There is no “sport value in hunting primates:
Wild primates do not regard human primates as predators and do not fear them the way they would a predator. Instead, they regard as another primate species with whom they sometimes need to compete with for resources. The level of fear they exhibit – or the lack of it – is due to learnt experience as they move through life interacting with either hostile or kind, friendly humans. Their tendency to get close to humans makes them highly vulnerable to being hunted at close range and the total lack of “sport value” makes it akin to canned hunting.

Damage caused to troop structures:

The vervet monkey and chacma baboon are listed on the hunting list based on the assumption that these populations are plentiful; it is widely believed that they are commonly seen and are therefore healthy. This is a misconception for the following reasons: This view does not take the damage done to troop structures into consideration but regards these highly social species in terms of numbers only, without any regard to the dependence they have on a healthy social system. A healthy primate troop relies on a fragile social system; shooting individuals leads to damaged troop structures which in turn impacts on related systems. Humans have impacted heavily on dysfunctional troops.

Vervet Monkey populations are damaged in the W.C.
Vervet monkey populations are not monitored yet the damage done to these populations is clear to anyone living in the area who has some knowledge about conservation. This makes their inclusion on the hunting list all the more critical. Vervet Monkey populations between Mossel Bay and Stormsriver are badly damaged. Residents report the disappearance of whole troops. It is no longer common to sight these animals and troops – more often than not – contain too few individuals (often under five). With fewer troops around, dispersing males have further to travel, at great risk, to find new troops to move into.

Baboon troops often exhibit an unhealthy skew in the adult male to female ratio as males are most often targeted by humans. “While undertaking the Knysna elephant research project I was surprised how infrequently vervet monkeys were sighted. Also of concern was the small troop size. Recommendation. Research urgently needs to be undertaken on the status, distribution and genetic diversity (and degree of relatedness) of vervet monkeys in this portion of this Western Cape.” – Gareth Patterson

How the Hunting Proclamation influences the public and perpetuates the persecution of wild primates:


The general public looks to our Nature Conservation authorities for guidance. International tourists visit South Africa most often for the wildlife and many tourists have stopped coming to this country as its negative conservation image grows.

At present, the Hunting Notice which allows landowners to kill two monkeys/baboons every day, all year round or to kill ten caracal a day or unlimited amounts of jackal, gives the local public - and tourists - the clear message that the lives of primates are cheap, their contribution to biodiversity is irrelevant and persecuting them is acceptable.

Bow hunting extends hunting activities to a larger sector of the public and allows for widespread abuse of the laws which cannot be monitored by the authorities. This new step further gives the public the message that the lives of animals are there to use and abuse at will. The fact that species protected under CITES are included on the list tells us how little that means to our nature conservation authorities.


Hundreds of Primate Orphans Living in SA Rescue Centres:
Public perception, misconceptions and South African conservation legislation have dramatically contributed to the amount of primate orphans living in South African rehabilitation centres. The same factors have heavily influenced the growing amount of primates being held as pets. Hundreds of orphaned vervet monkeys and baboons currently reside in various rescue and rehabilitation centres in South Africa. These rescue centres receive no support from our conservation authorities and are self reliant against all odds.


The implications of making bow hunting legal:
§ – A licence is not required to own and use a bow and arrow, thus the legal persecution of wild primates is extended to a larger percentage of the South African public.
§ Hunting with a bow and arrow is silent, hence killing wildlife can be easily done in secret – with less accountability for the damage caused to the animal and the species.
§ Hunting with a bow and arrow makes it easier for the amateur hunter to wound and kill no matter how much cruelty is involved without the threat of punishment.
§ It is generally accepted that Cape Nature does not have the capacity to monitor hunting, allowing for the widespread abuse of hunting activities.

One of Cape Nature’s bow-hunting principles is to “encourage co-operation between landowners, bow-hunters, local industries and local communities in managing the off-take of indigenous species within limits that are not detrimental to the survival of the species”.
Given that our authorities are unable to monitor hunting themselves, placing the responsibility of managing species’ populations in the hands of those most likely to be driven by greed and self fulfillment is incredibly unrealistic. Furthermore, these parties are offered the choice of using a bow and arrow which is easy to obtain and silently wounds its victim without the complication of exposing the killer.

Who can deny that this decision encourages widespread abuse of our wildlife? We are heading backwards towards further destruction of indigenous species.


Hunters on Bow Hunting:
On the hunting website – African Indaba, it is claimed that bow hunting became popular in South Africa due to the increasing popularity of this practice in the USA. . “Firearms Control Act (FCA): What further fuelled the bow hunting industry in South Africa was the implementation of our draconian “Firearms Control Act” or FCA. This act made owning a firearm an onerous task and obtaining licences became and remains a task of note. Many avid hunters in South Africa then explored bow hunting and many have become bow hunting enthusiasts. We now have bow shops all over the country, even in the small towns. No licences are required. Although there are minimum specifications for bows and arrows for differing species, the authorities lack the capacity to monitor the local market”. AFRICAN INDABA NOVEMBER 2013, VOLUME 11-5&6

It is unrealistic for Cape Nature to believe that landowners will act responsibly in the best interests of the environment when it is easier to serve one’s self serving financial interests based on the misconception that shooting solves the problem of raiding; during the past 350 years the irrational idea that killing problem animals solves the problem has been the guiding rule in wildlife management yet after 350 years we still have the same problems.
Surely this tells us that killing tactics do not work?

Posted March 7, 2015
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