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Conservation News May 2022 / Bewaringsnuus Mei 2022

Lion Management: Our conservation manager represents SA Hunters on the Lion Working Group of SA, which is involved with  the implementation of the Lion Biodiversity Management Plan this month. It is estimated that there are about 30,000 wild lions currently in Africa. Lion is listed regionally as least concern on the 2016 Red List Assessment and is on the Threatened and Protected Species (TOPS) list in terms of Section 56 (1) of NEMBA. Wild populations only occur in Kruger National Park, Kgalagadi, and Mapungubwe National Park, while 58 reserves have wild-managed populations. Wild lion populations in SA are healthy and growth is only limited by the lack of available suitable habitat for free ranging populations.

Implementeringsplan om Vergiftigings-risiko’s vir Wildlewe te Verminder: As lid van die National Wildlife Poison Prevention Working Group het SA Jagters insette gegee in die finale plan wat die Departement van Bosbou, Visserye en die Omgewing vir implementering goedgekeur het. Hierdie is ‘n baie belangrike plan wat nie alleen die gebruik van gif in probleemdierbeheer insluit nie, maar ook die loodvergiftiging van wildlewe aanspreek. Die plan het dus ‘n direkte impak op alle grondeienaars, jagters, sportskuts en hengelaars. Die plan is beskikbaar vir lede wat belangstel.

CITES Stakeholder Meeting: SA Hunters responded on the listing proposals of stakeholders at the recent stakeholder meeting to discuss South Africa’s position in preparation of the next conference of parties (COP) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to be held in Panama later this year. Our response is indicated in the table below. Currently, 866 South African plants and 444 animals are listed on CITES, which put specific requirements on SA in so far as trade is concerned.

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment indicated that Elephant, Black Rhino, Leopard, and Lion will not be discussed because South Africa currently does not have a policy position on the way forward with these species. A policy is currently being developed. This is of concern given the varying challenges that landowners and parks are experiencing in relation to these species and the associated impacts of trade restrictions. Sustainable trade can significantly contribute to conservation efforts on the ground.

SpeciesProposalViews of SA Hunters
Conophytum SpeciesListing on 2/3We are closely involved in the anti-poaching and conservation of Conophytum and have sufficient data that support the notion that poaching of local species is increasing at an alarming rate to meet growing international demand. We support listing on Appendix 3 that would assist in obtaining trade data, but it will allow control of the listing in the hands of SA and the Conference of Parties.
Albany AdderAppendix 1The major threat to the species is habitat transformation. SA Hunters is not convinced that listing on CITES will address the threats. In addition, there are examples of how listing can actually result in a rush of illegal collection. However, we did not assess the species’ trade data in detail and will not submit a formal response.
BontebokProposal was not very clear on the outcomes it wants to achieve. However, it was clear that an intervention is required to facilitate export of hunting trophies of Blesbok, which is currently not the case due to the enhancement findings required by US Fish and Wildlife. More than 100 trophies that have been legally hunted, are waiting to be exported.Although we support trade in principle, in this specific case, it is clear that the major stumbling block is the impediments on exports due to the USFW’s requirement of enhancement findings. The Non-detriment Finding that we participated in has not been finalised and published for comment. SA’s best approach would be to engage in bilateral discussions to demonstrate that the population is stable and growing, and that the USFW should facilitate issuing of import permits. 
GiraffeDown-listingFully supported. SA has a reservation on the listing, as it should never have been listed in the first place. Data shows that international trade is not having a detrimental impact on the species. Challenges in northern and east Africa are related to habitat degradation, impacts of civil unrest, and the illegal bushmeat trade. CITES listing will not address these challenges. If the countries outside of SADC want to continue with listing, SA Hunters suggested that we should consider possible split-listing where the southern species are down-listed. 

Tafelbergtak Ondersteun Reservaat Tafelbergtak het veldkameras aan die Paarl Mountain Reserve geskenk om te help om data in te samel oor die wildlewe wat op die reservaat voorkom. Hierdie kameras het daartoe bygedra dat die teenwoordigheid van luiperd op die reservaat herbevestig is na baie jare. ‘n Kort video van die opname van die luiperd is op die Faceboek-blad beskikbaar by https://fb.watch/dggsEyDmkR/.

Tuinroetetak doen riviermonitering: SA Jagters het besluit om ‘n nasionale Water vir Lewe projek van stapel te stuur oor die integriteit van ons varswaterhulpbronne en om bewustheid te skep van die belangrikheid van goeie bestuur in die opvanggebied. Die eerste proeflopie is gedoen saam met Tuinroete-tak en ‘n groep jong kinders van George. Hulle is bekend gestel aan die miniSASS riviermoniteringsmetode en het geleer hoe grondgebruik in die opvanggebied ‘n impak op waterkwaliteit het en dat sekere goggas ‘n aanduiding kan gee van riviergesondheid. Die inisiatief sal binnekort nasionaal uitgebrei word.

Battle of the Bullets: SA Hunters, Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Karoo Forever Sustainable Land Management Project, and the Karoo Vulture Safe Zone invited landowners, conservationists, hunters, and ammunition/bullet manufacturers to discuss and test non-leaded ammunition during a Battle of the Bullets event in Graaff-Reinet. Conservation manager, Lizanne Nel, gave a presentation on the risks that leaded ammunition poses to humans and wildlife, and explained the work done by the team of SA Hunters. Participants had the opportunity to test alternative ammunition and to learn from the experiences of those who had already switched to non-leaded ammunition, such as Mornay Eyre, regional coordinator of the south-eastern Cape. Local branch chairperson Johan Dorfling also attended and shared his experiences of switching over from leaded to non-leaded ammunition. It was a fruitful collaborative effort between the various role-players. Members with queries about the risks associated to switching from lead-based ammunition to alternative options can contact lizanne@sahunt.co.za or boetie@sahunt.co.za

Namakwatak Leer Jong Kinders van Bewaring: Namakwa-tak het onlangs ʼn suksesvolle werkswinkel vir graad 12 leerders van Okiep Hoërskool by Goegab Natuurreservaat, by Springbok aangebied. Kaptein Du Toit, bewaringskoördineerder by Namakwa-tak, reservaatpersoneel en Khaus Sosiale Ontwikkelingsdepartement op Okiep het die 40 leerders na die reservaat geneem waar hul vertel is van bewaring en die negatiewe effek en nagevolge van stroping van die unieke plante van Namakwaland en omgewing. Die toekoms van ons natuur berus in die hande van die jeug en ons beplan om meer tyd met hulle in die natuur deur te bring.

An Adobe Acrobat file SA Hunters Conservation News May 20221.02 MB

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