JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (October 25, 2012) A recent report says illegal hunting of wildlife in South African Development Community (SADC) states can lead to the eradication of many species across extensive areas and even complete ecological collapse.
Africa's iconic large carnivores, such as cheetah, lion, leopard, and wild dog, are particularly vulnerable to this practice, either because they are caught in the bycatch from unselective methods such as snaring, or due to loss of prey. The report says that the scale and severity of the threat is such that, without urgent intervention, one of SADC's most valuable resources will be lost across vast areas of the region.
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.
SADC wildlife agencies are beginning to tackle this looming conservation crisis. At a two-day meeting in Johannesburg last week, heads of wildlife agencies and other representatives of government, supported by IUCN (East and Southern Africa Region),UNDP, FAO, community organizations, and conservation NGOs unanimously agreed on the urgency of tackling the practice of illegal bushmeat extraction. SADC member states represented at the workshop included Mozambique (current chair country); Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The groups at the workshop noted that current rates of bushmeat extraction are unsustainable and can lead to local extinctions and the collapse of ecosystems. They also noted that many poor and marginalized communities depend on the contribution wildlife makes to their food security, and called for support from the development community in helping to curb illegal hunting and bushmeat trade.
Sustainable management of wildlife can make significant contributions to the food security o
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society