Trophy Hunting Is The Solution To Conserving Africa’s Wildlife

Trophy Hunting
Trophy Hunting

U.S.A.-( Public discussion of how trophy hunting fits into the wildlife situation in Africa has been triggered again with an editorial in Africa Geographic entitled: “Trophy hunting in Africa is in decline, and no longer pays its way.”

Such a suggestion is misleading at best. It does, however, demonstrate the need for a more complete understanding of the entire picture so that precious wildlife resources can be sustained in wild places now and into the future.

Wildlife in Africa has suffered tremendously and illegal criminal enterprises that commit poaching have benefitted greatly from the misguided efforts of anti-hunting eco-imperialists in other parts of the world.

In a speech to European officials, Michel Leonidas Mantheakis, Chairman of the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association, summed up the overall situation: “It is ironic that anti-hunting pressure resulted in the deaths by poaching of more elephants, lions and other wildlife than safari hunting ever has….A decision taken on wrong information can never be right. When emotion prevails you are bound to come to the wrong conclusions even if the information is right.”

Hunters, as conservationists, practice the sustainable use of wildlife resources. It hasn’t been until recently that our message is being disseminated more broadly so that those interested in true conservation and effective wildlife management can understand the totality of the very complex issues involved.

Well-regulated trophy hunting helps wildlife and local economies, while attacks on hunting result in harm to the very animals that we all want to save.

Any decline of hunting in Africa is at least in part due to importation restrictions imposed by foreign governments. There are significant differences in conservation and economic benefits between countries like South Africa and Namibia that have strong hunting programs versus countries like Kenya and Botswana that currently lack strong hunting programs.

For example, a prominent study titled “The Conservation Equation in Africa” concluded that between the years 2012 and 2014, hunting for conservation contributed a staggering $426 million to the GDP of Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Moreover, direct spending by foreign hunters injected an additional $326 million into these Southeastern African economies while also supporting over 53,000 jobs for local residents. The hunting that takes place on these lands and the subsequent economic benefit that hunting provides have no viable replacement.

Additionally, trophy hunting plays a vital and irreplaceable role in not only land but also wildlife conservation. The millions of dollars that hunters bring to these African nations offer powerful incentives to both governments and private land holders to preserve land for wildlife. Properly incentivized by the cash injections brought by hunters every year, local populations are more proactive about managing real threats to wild life such as indiscriminate poaching and agricultural land development.

For example, several African species’ conservation status have been improved by hunting programs. A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shows:

  • Black rhino recovered from approximately 1,000 in the 1890s to more than 3,500 today;
  • Cape buffalo herds were decimated in the early 1900s. There are more than 1 million today;
  • White rhino population was less than 100 in 1895. There are between 19,600 and 21,000 white rhinos in existence today;
  • Bontebok population was 126 in 1925. The population is over 8,000 today.

Without conservation hunting, these African nations will undoubtedly see human-wildlife conflict increase, a rapid loss of animal habitat to human activities, and an irreplaceable loss of economic support for the local communities. If hunting is declining, efforts should be made to improve or revitalize hunting so that additional conservation successes can be achieved.

About Safari Club InternationalSafari Club International

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

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All hunters make me puke. I have no respect for hunters……NONE. A bunch of mentally sick human beings. You’ll always say anything to justify your arrogant, stupid killings on living beings that 100 times over deserve to live above any other, by other I mean humans, humans that are hunters.

Get Out

Paula never came back to tell us if her group spent any money to offset what a trophy hunter spends on these hunts. So I’ll ask you the same question, did your group spend any money to offset what a trophy hunter spends on these hunts? Did they spend any money to keep the local people that would keep the poachers out of these areas?

Get Out

Wow, 2 million years is a long time for humans to have been hunters, wait… we still are! BTW are you a hunter if your handle is Serengeti Lion? Don’t Serengeti Lions hunt and ultimately chase down and kill hoofed animals made of meat?

Real Hunter

All true except for elephants . Look it up elephants aren’t like any other beast . Stay off the elephants .Until you have tens of thousands .

Paul Stones

We have hundred of thousands, so you back off

Get Out

According to, there are approximately 400,000-700,000 African elephants, as of 2018. This is a minuscule number as compared to the original number in the 20th century, which was as many as 3-5 million. Poaching and other factors have contributed to this decline in their numbers, and understanding how many African elephants are left can help in protecting them.


For Paula and others who think as she does, one of the dirty little secrets about animal refuges here in MD is that they become overpopulated with deer. The only solution is to open up the refuges to hunters, either refuge employees or Natural Resource Police. In extreme cases the refuges sometimes open up to selected members of the public. In Africa, from everything I’ve read, the countries that license big game hunting see increases in that game, sometimes to the extent of being pests.

I also wonder if Paula is Vegan.

Frank Sanderson

It’s about time this type of information is getting out! Hunters.


It’s only sport if both parties have knowledge that they are participating. Also would be fair for the animals to be armed like those blood thirsty, soulless hunters.


Please go get a good psychiatric examination and treatment for your delusional ideas.

Get Out

Did you even bother to read the article more animals were poached when the anti-hunters got their way? Now the entire animal population is being decimated for free due to poaching. Did your group spend any money to offset what a trophy hunter spends on these hunts? Did they spend any money to keep the local people that would keep the poachers out of these areas? In a speech to European officials, Michel Leonidas Mantheakis, Chairman of the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association, summed up the overall situation: “It is ironic that anti-hunting pressure resulted in the deaths by poaching of… Read more »

James Evans

Are you nuts?

Wild Bill

Pitiful Paula, So scared of death. All of those animals will die anyway. And some day, hour, and minute death will come to you, too. Better get used to the notion, sooner than later.

Get Out

I do wish that Paula would have come back and informed us that her animal rights group or any group matched or exceeded the money that would have been spent by the hunters. But I’m sure they’re all talk and still patting themselves on the back for getting the hunting stopped but not the poaching.

Walter Goddard

If done correctly, this is a simple solution to sustain the wild populations, and their environmental requisites!
It would also have a greater positive economic/social impact upon the people of these countries as well..
… Provide them with protection, education, income, and preserve their legacy.

John Dunlap

If the animal welfare crowd would turn off their emotional filters long enough to honestly consider what happened to the American Bison, this debate would be over. At the time, government was intent on Westward expansion and development. Immigrants were predominantly from agrarian populations in Europe, farmers who only understood wheat and cattle. Bottom line, bison had no economic value to them. They were just in the way. Without sport hunting, the same thing will happen in Africa. There aren’t anywhere near enough eco-tourists to cover what hunters spend on the average safari. People will always prioritize feeding their families.… Read more »


Military leaders said wipe out bison to starve out Indians.

Get Out

You’re right economics and greed wiped out bison. Who would buy beef when buffalo were free for the taking? To get control of the Indian and land they had to kill off his food, shelter and clothing sources.

Wild Bill

@Gentlemen, American military people knew that the plains peoples logistics were the buffalo, buy no US military expedition was ever sent out to kill off the buffalo. Cody did not kill off the buffalo. Even the American free market in buffalo meat, hides and bones did not kill off the buffalo. The American Bison was nearly extincted by the brucellosis bacteria.


This is so basic it defies imagination that there is organised opposition. The huge threat to wildlife is the South African land confiscation plans. Black wildebeest were entirely recovered from the brink of extinction on private lands in South Africa.