Trophy Hunting

Do you know the facts about trophy hunting?

  • Trophy hunting is not conservation. 

Hunters have long argued that their trophy kills promote species conservation but those claims don’t stand up to the evidence. You cannot conserve a species by killing it. A congressional report even found that trophy hunting contributes to the extinction of species.

Poaching remains the largest threat to these animals but according to National Geographic, “Trophy hunting isn’t stopping poaching, especially in countries that have a poor record of protecting their wildlife.” 

  • Americans do not support trophy hunting.

A recent Synovate eNation poll featured in CNN showed that a vast majority of Americans, 70.4%, would pay to see lions on safari while only 6.6% would actually pay to hunt one. Another poll from IFAW found that over 80% of Americans would support a ban on lion and elephant trophies altogether.

  • Trophy hunting does not benefit local economies.

The notion that American money is supporting these communities through hunting expeditions is a fiction. According to the New York Times, the reality is that very little of this money makes it to local communities due to corruption and “poorly managed wildlife programs.” An Oxford report found that in Tanzania 3-5% of hunting revenues actually went to these communities.

This could be contrasted with eco-tourism which CNN describes as a reliable source of revenue, one that countries like Botswana are leaning towards. They recently placed a ban on big game hunting to protect their declining populations. The Brookings Institute found that “South Africa and Kenya receive the largest amounts of tourism-focused investment at $6.1 billion and $404 million respectively.” This reflects a growing trend in the tourism industry towards eco-friendly travel. According to the World Tourism Organization, “ecotourism is now the fastest-growing segment of an already mammoth tourism industry. By some estimates, ecotourism generates as much as US$300 billion in revenues annually.”

Claims of trophy hunting being a strong job creator are just as false.

An ICUN report shows that across Africa there are about 15,000 jobs related to hunting. That’s only one job for every 80,000 people.

And while it is true that large animals can cause economic issues for rural farms there are many proven deterrents such as trenches, LED lightsbee pheromones, and chili powder.

More and more Americans each year support outright bans. The best explanation for this comes from the Los Angeles Times: “By definition, you don’t conserve animals whose population is in peril by killing them and putting their heads on a wall.”

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