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Conservation Programme 2022

SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SA Hunters) is a voluntary membership organisation that represents the interests of citizen hunters, wildlife custodians, firearm owners and sport shottists. It was established in 1949 to promote conservation of game species and wildlife habitats, and responsible hunting.

Through service excellence, it has grown to a membership of more than 44,000 members represented in 82 branches throughout the country.  The organisation harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its members to promote an integrated and sensible approach to biodiversity conservation and responsible wildlife use, mindful of its role as a cornerstone for human well-being and sustainable

Conservation focus

The Association underwrites and bases its conservation policy on the content and context of the IUCN World Conservation Strategy, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the national environmental management legal framework. Our focus is conservation of wildlife habitats and associated free-range wildlife populations through responsible wildlife management and responsible utilisation in line with conservation and sustainable use principles.

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National policy processes and forums

SA Hunters cooperates constructively with government and relevant role players to facilitate the development of an enabling policy and legal framework that promotes private sector participation in biodiversity conservation and responsible growth of the wildlife economy.

We serve on the following national forums and working groups:

National Wildlife Forum: engagement with the ministry on matters affecting the wildlife sector

National wildlife poison prevention working group: reducing the risks of wildlife poisoning incidents

National Lead Task Team: reducing risks of wildlife being harmed by lead products

National Vulture Task Force: promoting an integrated approach to vulture conservation and developing appropriate biodiversity management plans

Sungazer Working Group: promoting sungazer conservation in SA

National Lion Working Group: promoting conservation of stable, viable, and ecologically functional populations of wild and managed wild lions

Cycad Working Group: promoting conservation of indigenous cycads

Provincial Wildlife Forums: engaging with provincial conservation agencies

National IUCN Steering Committee

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Wildlife Certification Steering Committee: develops the voluntary, market-based Wildlife Economy Certification Scheme

Sustainable Wildlife Economies Project: seeks to understand the holistic contributions of wildlife custodians to sustainable development

Wildlife Economy Task Team: focuses on inclusive and responsible growth of the wildlife economy

We achieve our conservation objectives through national initiatives coordinated from the dedicated conservation office at Nyathi Park, and through our members at branches countrywide. Members participate in conservation projects of species, habitat, and landscapes relevant to their area. They also improve their photographic skills and experience by joining our photography club.

Conservation Initiatives

 Vulture Heritage Vultures are among the most threatened group of birds with persecution, electrocution, poisoning, and illegal trade in vulture body parts identified as some of the main reasons for declining numbers. Gen. De La Rey branch supports the management of a vulture restaurant near Lichtenburg. Poisoned and electrocuted vultures are collected and cared for in collaboration with the Vulpro Rehabilitation Centre. We collaborate with landowners to secure larger areas that are safe for vultures by registering vulture heritage sites. Members capture vulture sightings on the Wildlife Sightings APP.
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 Project Grootoog Springbok branch and other branches are involved in the conservation of owls through funding of relevant research; raising awareness on the risks of using poisons; installing owl boxes and monitoring activities; and providing support to bona fide rehabilitation initiatives.  
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 Cheetah Conservation The Pretoria East branch is involved in cheetah conservation through re-introduction initiatives, funding of temporary holding facilities, and sponsoring radio collars for monitoring.  
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 Save our Succulents The illegal harvesting and trade in the unique succulent plants of the Namaqualand area is escalating at an alarming rate. The Namaqualand branch together with landowners and the police have joined hands in anti-poaching operations. There are ongoing activities to raise awareness of the crisis. To date, more than R100,000 has been spent on supporting conservation agencies in this regard.  
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 Rhino Conservation Members and the national office participate in anti-poaching operations and initiatives. The Junior Rhino Rangers initiative introduces youngsters to rhinos and teaches them to identify and monitor rhinos as part of a conservation awareness programme. Contributions have also been made to the Rhodis initiative that profiles DNA of rhino horns to improve prosecutions of poachers.  
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 Sungazers   Conserving wild sungazer colonies in collaboration with landowners.
 Pollinators Our Pretoria East branch contributes to conservation of pollinators by donating beehives to novice beekeepers. The Northern Beekeeping Association assists with the rescuing of bees from conflict situations and establishing of new populations. The project also improves the livelihoods of the people that care for the bees   Click here for more information
 Snare Busters Conservation teams from different branches are involved in sweeping areas (including where dangerous game occur) and removing snares to prevent animals from dying slow and terrible deaths.  
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 Wildlife Sightings Members capture wildlife sightings of rare and threatened species in real-time when they are in the veld. The data generated, contributes to bona fide conservation programmes.

Working with communities securing wildlife and sustainable use

 Research and Development We understand the impor-tance of relevant research in ensuring appropriate conservation action and effective policy develop- ment. With a full-time qualified conservation scientist heading the conservation programme, the association has the capacity to conduct inhouse research; facilitate applied research; participate in scientific publications and programmes; participate in local and international scientific and sector-specific conferences to further conservation and respons-ible wildlife utilisation, while staying abreast of the latest developments that are relevant to the wildlife sector. We are thought leaders in the sector with innovative initiatives, one of which is the development of the concept of biodiversity economy nodes. The latter is a strategy where the wildlife economy is positioned and developed as a driver in rural economies, simul-taneously achieving conservation and economic development objectives.
 Protected Area Support SA Hunters acknowledges the important role that conservation agencies and protected areas play in formal conservation of South Africa’s biodiversity. Therefore, we provide appropriate support for i.e., water provision, infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, equipment, and research and development.  
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 Community Outreach A modest token of humanity and kindness by hunters in the Overberg area is to assist drought-stricken communities with feed for domestic and wild animals whilst not overlooking the most basic need of the people themselves. More than 5000 tonnes have been donated to date.  
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