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Articles : First Cheetah cubs born in Malawi in over two decades

on 2017/11/15 17:50:51 (33 reads)

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Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and African Parks made history in May 2017, when a small founder population of Cheetahs was successfully relocated to Liwonde National Park in Malawi, restoring the population of this threatened species at least 20 years after its extinction in the country. Now, history has been made again, as the first cubs have been born to these Cheetahs, making them the first wild cubs to be born in Malawi in 20 years.

In late 2016, the South African wild Cheetah population reached new levels, with most safe spaces for Cheetahs fully occupied. The EWT and African Parks thus began to plan for a reintroduction of Cheetah into Liwonde National Park, Malawi. Under the management of African Parks in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), Liwonde National Park and two other reserves in Malawi are being well protected and security has been vastly improved, creating more than 300,000 hectares of safe space for establishing Cheetah populations. In May 2017, four Cheetahs were taken from Mountain Zebra National Park, Amakhala Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve and Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, and flown in a light aircraft, sponsored by FlyUlendo and Robin Pope Safaris, from OR Tambo to Liwonde National Park. After a short spell in the newly constructed Liwonde predator bomas, the four Cheetahs were released.

The Cheetahs immediately set about their normal business, feasting on the large amounts of prey available in Liwonde, and in mid-July, two Cheetahs were seen mating on Chinguni Hill, the highest point in Liwonde National Park. Three months later, the EWT’s Cheetah monitor based at Liwonde, Olivia Sievert, shared the exceptional news that four tiny cubs had been spotted, young enough to still have their eyes closed. The birth of these four cubs, the first in the wild in Malawi in over 20 years, is a massive conservation milestone, and an incredible indicator of how easily Cheetahs can adapt when moved to new environments.

The EWT’s Cheetah Metapopulation Project moves wild Cheetahs across a myriad different vegetation types with vastly different climatic variables to ensure the genetic viability of this threatened species. Under the auspices of this programme, Cheetahs have been moved from the Kalahari Desert to the mountainous bushveld of the Waterberg; from thicket vegetation in the Eastern Cape to the grasslands of the Free State; and in the case of the Liwonde reintroduction, from the Karoo semi-desert, where temperatures drop as low as minus ten degrees Celsius, to the floodplain grasslands of central Africa, where temperatures soar up to 50 degrees Celsius. Every time the EWT relocates Cheetahs to new environments, more is learned about the incredible ability of this species to adapt and survive, as they have been doing for millions of years.

Hot on the heels of the news that the first wild cubs had been born in Liwonde in October, it has now been confirmed that the second female Cheetah that was relocated to the reserve has given birth to at least three cubs. Both sets of cubs and their mothers will continue to be monitored. The EWT is proud to have played an integral role in this conservation success story.

About the Endangered Wildlife Trust: The EWT is a credible, impactful player in regional conservation, committed to identifying the key factors threatening biodiversity and developing innovative methodologies and best practice to reduce these and promote harmonious co-existence and sustainable living for both people and wildlife. Read more about the EWT’s work at: www.ewt.org.za or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About African Parks: African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. With the largest counter-poaching force and the most amount of area under protection for any one NGO in Africa, African Parks manages 12 national parks and protected areas in eight countries covering seven million hectares: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda. Visit www.africanparks.org to learn more. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Contacts

Vincent van der Merwe
Cheetah Metapopulation Project Coordinator
Endangered Wildlife Trust
vincentv@ewt.org.za

David Marneweck
Carnivore Conservation Programme Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 87 021 0398
davidm@ewt.org.za

Belinda Glenn
Marketing and Communications Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 87 021 0398
belindag@ewt.org.za

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USA Hunting : Wyoming Game and Fish Department to Hold Bear Spray Giveaway

on 2017/9/6 11:41:54 (101 reads)

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CODY, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will give out 100 cans of bear-deterring spray to hunters at the regional office in Cody.

The Cody Enterprise reports (http://bit.ly/2x85YYP ) that in the two previous years of holding the event, the department has given away all cans of the spray in less than an hour. The cans are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on Wednesday.

To receive a can, people must show a current hunting or fishing license and take a survey about bear awareness.

The department's Bear Wise Community Coordinator Dusty Lasseter says hunters who pick up the spray also have the opportunity to talk with bear biologists and practice using the spray with training cans.

___

Information from: The Cody Enterprise, http://www.codyenterprise.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-state ... -hold-bear-spray-giveaway

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Africa Hunting : Economic & ecological benefits of hunting in Namibia

on 2017/9/6 11:21:19 (111 reads)

In Namibia, hunting is a vital part of conservation and contributes to the economic sustainability of mixed farming operations, private game farms, and more importantly, communal conservancies. Gerhard Uys spoke to Tanja Dahl, CEO of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association.

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Official statistics from the Namibian government show that hunting on commercial farms generates in excess of N$351 million [R351 million] per year.
Photo: FW Archive

Why is hunting a good conservation strategy for Namibia?
Hunting in Namibia is well regulated, conservation- and sustainability-based, and enshrined in the Constitution. We adhere to the laws, but also to ethical hunting principles, as we diligently follow the rules of fair chase and truly believe in them.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia [MET] supports hunting. Minister Pohamba Penomwenyo Shifeta is outspoken about the benefits for communal conservancies.

Why were the communal conservancies established?
Local inhabitants were driven from their land into barren ‘reserves’ by the South African government, which applied apartheid principles to make way for South African farmers. In the northern Kunene region, Namibians and their livestock were forced to compete with wildlife for land.

The first community conservation efforts in Namibia began here. The idea was to place wildlife in the hands of the very people, the local communities, accused of poaching by the government.

How do they work?
In communal conservancies, rural residents on communal land have the same rights to wildlife as private farmers, enabling them to diversify their income streams by operating tourism and trophy hunting businesses.

A communal conservancy has fixed boundaries agreed to by its founding members and neighbouring communities. It is usually split into zones, integrating traditional resource use with new income sources: tourism, the sustainable use of wildlife (including trophy hunting, fishing and fishery protection areas), and exclusive wildlife conservation areas.

Communal conservancies are registered by the MET and adhere to ministry regulations.

Conservancies have constitutions, elected management committees, game management plans, and plans for the distribution of benefits.

In remote regions, where income possibilities are often meagre, but natural resources abundant, the programme brings jobs and additional income, and incentives for practical nature conservation in addition to subsistence agriculture.

From a conservation viewpoint, it lends financial value to wildlife and leads to tolerance for wild animals. This enables mixed operations, game farms and livestock enterprises to thrive without conflict.

How large are hunting concessions?
Commercial farms in Namibia are, on average, 5 000ha in size, with game and hunting farms even larger [many hunting farms in South Africa are smaller than 1 500ha]. Namibia has 82 communal conservancies that range from about 50 000ha to 900 000ha, with 44% of Namibia under some type of conservation measure.

Why did Namibia not ban trophy hunting or exports when other countries did?
In Namibia, one of our biggest ‘exports’ is tourism. We do not have many other resources, as it is a dry country and need to rely on consumptive tourism. Our government understands this.

Hunting not only adds significantly to our GDP, it protects wildlife. Much of Namibia is under some form of conservation. Government hunting concessions are another form of securing income from remote areas.

How is hunting regulated on the conservancies and how have the communal conservancies performed?
All hunting is based on game counts and the management plan, and has to be approved by the MET via strict quotas. Twenty-six of the established conservancies are financially self-sufficient, while others earn income that is used to support conservancy operations.

Based on statistics from 82 registered communal conservancies in Namibia, conservancies generate more than N$70 million [R70 million] every year in direct benefit to rural communities.

Approximately 300 000 people, which is almost 13% of the country’s population, live in conservancies. A total of 2 000 permanent jobs and 3 500 temporary jobs have been created.

What is the macroeconomic effect of sustainable hunting?
Although no definitive value is attached to trophy hunting, tourism accounts for about 3% of Namibia’s GDP. About 27% of all employment in Namibia is directly created by the travel and tourism industry, a substantial figure when one takes Africa’s high unemployment rates into account.

In 2015, the World Bank listed Namibia as having an unemployment rate of 28% of the total population. However, a large portion of these ‘unemployed’ people are in fact beneficiaries of the Namibian communal conservancy programmes.

What are the benefits of trophy hunting for communal conservancies and commercial game farms in Namibia?
A World Wide Fund for Nature study into communal conservancies between 1998 and 2013 entitled, ‘The complementary benefits of tourism and hunting to communal conservancies in Namibia’, looked at a total of 77 communal conservancies.

It showed that across all conservancies, benefits from hunting and tourism have grown at roughly the same rate, although conservancies typically start generating benefits from hunting within three years of formation, as opposed to after six years for tourism ventures.

The study showed that the main benefits from hunting are income for conservancy management and meat for the community at large, while the majority of tourism benefits are salaried jobs at lodges.

A simulated ban on trophy hunting significantly reduced the number of conservancies that were able to cover their operating costs, whereas eliminating income from tourism did not have as severe an effect. However, as there is only a small number of trophy hunters in Namibia, they in effect place a low burden on the environment.

If trophy hunting was banned in these conservancies, poaching would become rife and the natural habitat of species would be overrun by cattle and sheep, once again causing conflict between humans and wildlife, and consequently the wholesale slaughter of wildlife in these areas.

According to government studies, hunting on commercial farms in Namibia generates in excess of N$351 million [R351 million] per annum, and commercial agriculture as a whole provides employment for 27,4% of the population.

According to Minister Shifeta, should a ban be placed on trophy hunting, commercial farmers in Namibia would lose the bulk of their foreign earnings; 50% of jobs on mixed livestock and hunting farms would be lost; and at least 3 500 jobs on exclusive hunting farms would disappear.

This would increase unemployment in a country with an already high rate of unemployment. It is clear, then, that Namibia’s approach to conservation is working.

https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/animal ... benefits-hunting-namibia/




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Europe Hunting : European Commission v Republic of Malta

  on 2017/8/12 12:53:39 (142 reads)
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Fishing News : Fishing with Drones

on 2017/7/10 10:55:47 (131 reads)

Click to see original Image in a new windowJason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com

A drone’s built-in camera provides spectacular fishing photography. But even beyond that, the overhead view and territory-covering ability are perfect for scouting for fish, scrutinizing topography, and illuminating nuances of fish behavior. Those applications make it somewhat surprising that, thus far, few top anglers are actually using drones to bend rods and bring more fish boat-side.
For a clear view of the benefits and limitations of drones for fishing, I persuaded seven pro fishermen and photographers to share their tips for finding more fish, enticing more bites, and capturing better images using the drone’s-eye view.

A fishier use for drones — which Weinhofer says is both practical and productive enough that he’s banned the use of drones in the six-figure-stakes Florida Keys Dolphin Championship and Final Sail tournaments he directs — is in spotting predators near the surface. In the Florida Keys, when seas stir up shallow sand near the reef line, sailfish often patrol where green water meets blue Gulf Stream water. “Here in Key West, sailfish swim east to west on the surface, so put the drone up to the east of you, about 200 feet above the water, and fly along the color-change line,” Weinhofer says. “It’s surprising how easily you can see the black shadows [of fish]. Particularly in the green water, they stand out like neon signs.”
But, he says, flying a drone while keeping kites up and baits out often isn’t worth the effort: “It really takes a dedicated pilot just to fly the drone and watch that camera. Do it when the bite slows down. Maybe you’re fishing on the blue side, but you’ll find the fish on the green side.” He also suggests aerial scanning to find the sharpest water-color contrast, which condenses fish into a tighter area.

Given the limited field of vision of drones’ cameras, scouting works best along defined features, rather than by randomly searching the open sea. Scanning just off the beach on Florida’s east coast, for example, a drone can spot shallow-water bait schools that draw snook, tarpon, sharks and even sailfish, as well as the large rays that cobia often follow. Without a defined feature to reconnoiter, Weinhofer might fly a drone over water a little shallower or a little deeper than he’s fishing, since sailfish often favor one specific depth contour on any given day. “You could be 200 yards off a hot bite and miss it entirely,” he says.
Inshore fishing also benefits from aerial views. “I’m old-school. I like to hunt. I like to use my skills to figure it out,” says Capt. Rob Fordyce, an Islamorada guide, and host of the Outdoor Channel’s The Seahunter. “But if I fly the drone over a half-mile of flat that I just fished, there are often a lot more fish there that I saw with the drone, but not while I was fishing. They’re either deeper or shallower than I thought they should have been for the conditions that day.”

Fordyce points out that using this drone perspective before poling a flat or working down a shoreline could give anglers a real advantage: “Run a drone down and back in 20 minutes, and you’d see what’s there.”
Although Fordyce’s TV show heavily utilizes drone footage, he eschews drone use to aid fishing. “I have use of half a dozen drones at any given time, but I’ve yet to use one to find fish or make my day easier, because I enjoy the hunt,” he says. Fordyce feels drones can diminish the inshore-fishing experience. “It’s like the days before GPS. I learned the Everglades, hundreds of bays and shorelines, by going slow. I learned more about the fish. I learned where the little-bit-deeper spots were with a push pole. With the drone, you might see where the fish are on one particular day, but you’re not learning about that topography, the intricacies of the flat [that] you learn if you pole it or go slow with a trolling motor.”
On the other hand, Fordyce says: “Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fisherman in an area you’ve never fished, a drone could definitely quicken the learning phase. Pole part of that flat, but then take the last 20 minutes and run the same area with the drone. Keep records of the wind direction, the barometer, the tide, and remember where you saw fish on those particular conditions.” But, he cautions, “I just don’t think it’s wise to use a drone as your sole demeanor of learning.”

Much farther north, another professional skipper offers a slightly different take. “It can take many fishing trips to know the lay of the land,” says Capt. Chris Valaskatgis, a Massachusetts fishing guide. “But throw a drone up, and you see the whole thing laid out.” When first launching his boat in the spring, Valaskatgis surveys local inlets by drone to learn how they’ve changed through a winter of storms. “I’m looking for new cuts that are deep enough to troll through, and also points and curves within those cuts that congregate fish. They might be subtle, maybe 3 or 4 feet underwater. We don’t have strong current, so you’d never see that from the boat, but they’re obvious from the drone.”
He checks again as the season develops. In one instance, Valaskatgis was having success with smallish striped bass by working the current edge formed by an estuary sandbar. “From the drone, we noticed the current was curving past the bar, not flowing the way you’d think,” he says. Knowing bigger fish stake out the best spots, Valaskatgis made an adjustment. “It was subtle, maybe 50 yards, but all of a sudden we were catching much bigger fish.”

Drones also help anglers better understand their quarry. “For a long time, our best glimpse into fundamental fish behavior was from underwater and aerial footage on nature shows,” says Capt. Jay Shields, a Massachusetts guide and fishing-media producer. “Now, with that eye-in-the-sky perspective from drones, we can see patterns and interpret fish behavior. When I find a large biomass, before I fish, sometimes I’ll put the drone high overhead and watch how predators and prey are interacting.” Shields noticed, for instance, a particular feeding pattern of false albacore (little tunny): “The fish you see breaking the surface are maybe 15 percent of the school. The other 85 percent are patrolling the edges, keeping that baitball tight.” Fish actively feasting often didn’t respond to his bait, but by studying the drone view, he learned to target those fish on the perimeter. “Your bait stands out to those herders,” he says. “They’re looking for baits coming off the ball.”
From the air, Chris Valaskatgis says, a similar pattern is obvious with most bait schools. “You might see bait flipping in a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, but throw the drone up,” he says, “and you see the bait school is actually 50-by-50.” By approaching those baits breaking the surface to start fishing, he says, you’re often driving right over the top of the predators lurking along edges of the larger bait school.

Tips from Drone-Flying Skippers
“As far as spooking fish, whether it’s bonefish or redfish tarpon, they don’t seem to care about the noise and vibration of the drone hovering over them. That surprised me,” Rob Fordyce says. “Even big tarpon in clear water will allow the drone to get 10 feet above them before even hinting that they’re bothered. But if the shadow of the drone goes near the fish, it will spook them. Keep in mind where the sun is in reference to the drone and the fish.”
Don’t get too close to birds, either, as Jay Shields has seen them become aggressive toward drones, and he lost one drone to a frigate attack. “It sank like a brick,” he says. “The last thing I saw was fire coming from the lithium battery [reacting to salt water].”

In 2012, Congress passed a law allowing drone operation for “strictly hobby or recreational use … operated in accordance with a community-bases set of safety guidelines,” which for practical purposes means the Academy of Model Aeronautics guidelines. This past summer, separate Federal Aviation Administration regulations published under U.S. Code Title 14, Part 107, cover other drone use (find more info at faa.gov). “[For] anything that doesn’t meet the requirements of hobby aircraft, then 107 applies,” says Les Dorr, an FAA spokesperson on drones. “Either you operate under model aircraft guidance, or you operate under 107. There is no gray area.” The chief difference, as of August 2016, is the requirement for a drone pilot license for all nonhobbyists.
Anglers using drones to take photos or scout locations would be hobbyists; professional guides doing so to help their business would fall in the 107 area.
Other differences include a Part 107 requirement to obtain written FAA permission before flying in controlled airspace (typically within 4 miles of an airport), versus the hobbyist requirement to notify airports directly before operating within 5 miles. Part 107 drones also require individual registration numbers, while hobbyists register once to cover all owned aircraft. (Instruction is readily available through drone “flight schools.”)

By Capt. Vincent Daniello
http://www.sportfishingmag.com/fishing-with-drones

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Europe Hunting : Hunting can help European ecosystems

on 2017/7/5 18:53:42 (160 reads)

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Male wild boar.
Credit: Christian Gortázar Schmidt

Hunting as an outdoor activity is underrated in how it helps nature and society to regulate problem animal overpopulations. Such is the case for Europe's wild boar Sus scrofa, according to Spanish researchers from the IREC institute (UCLM and CSIC), and Principado de Asturias, published in Springer's European Journal of Wildlife Research.

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Africa Hunting : Read: ‘Expired gun licences are now still valid’, court makes big ruling on Firearms Act

on 2017/7/5 18:36:10 (146 reads)

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Tuesday saw the Gauteng North High Court declare two section of the Firearms Control Act unconstitutional. Both sections deal with procedures and regulations that should be in place when surrendering a firearm for which the license has already expired.

IOL has called Judge Ronel Tolmay’s judgement “groundbreaking”. In short, all firearms issued in terms of the Act, which are due or were due to be renewed, shall be deemed to be valid. This will remain until the Constitutional Court has had the final say on the matter.

Judge Tolmay also gave parliament 18 months to amend the Act in order to make it compliant with the constitution. Tolmay explained that the way things are now, there is a confusion among gun owners as to the proper procedure to follow in terms of renewing their firearms licences.

The ruling comes after an application by the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association. The group expressed concern at the “chaotic and dysfunctional” system of licensing and administration of firearms. IOL describes the core problem of the Act as such:

“Where a person wanted to renew a gun licence after it had lapsed, that person is deemed to be in illegal possession of the firearm.

It had to be handed into the nearest police station. The owner will not be prosecuted if it is a voluntary surrender.

But the problem arose that if the gun owner for some reason delayed in renewing the firearm, there was no proper procedure in place to bring him or her back under the scheme of legality.”

Many “pro-gun” South Africans are celebrating the judgement. Do you worry about any potential safety risks with unlicensed guns now being “re-legalised”? Or maybe you’re a gun owner who was facing a tough battle dealing with the complicated process.

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/read-a ... g-ruling-on-firearms-act/

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USA Hunting : Senate Passes WILD Act

on 2017/7/4 19:46:21 (145 reads)

“Conservation is not a partisan issue,” as the Committee on Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen John Barrasso (R-WY) and ranking Member Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) describe the motivation behind the WILD Act.

This bipartisan act would not only fund conservation efforts for endangered species, but it would also drive innovation for new methods to overcome current issues such as poaching, trafficking and the management of invasive species.

On his webpage, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK) gives details of the bill:

Reauthorize and fund the Department of the Interior’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program until fiscal year 2022;
Require federal agencies to implement strategic programs to control invasive species;
Reauthorize legislation to protect endangered species such as elephants, great apes, tigers, and others;
Establish the Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize competitions, which will award monetary prizes for technological innovation in the following categories:
the prevention of wildlife poaching and trafficking,
the promotion of wildlife conservation,
the management of invasive species,
the protection of endangered species, and
the use of nonlethal methods to control wildlife.
The Environment and Public Works Committee discovered that invasive species threaten the recovery of around 40 percent of endangered species. The Act will involve the protection of species such as Asian and African elephants, rhinoceros, marine turtles, great apes, tigers and marine turtles.

The Act was sent to the House on June 12.

Sources: U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, The Hill

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Africa Hunting : Public consultation on ivory trade in the EU

on 2017/9/21 9:39:24 (141 reads)

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About this consultation
15 September 2017 - 8 December 2017
Policy areas
Environment
. Departments
Environment

Consultation outcome

A short factual summary as well as a brief synopsis report on the results of the consultation will be published on this page.
The consultation will help guiding the Commission's approach to ivory trade and against ivory trafficking, in line with the Commission communication on the EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking and related Council conclusions.

Target group

All citizens and organizations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Objective of the consultation

Ivory trade in the EU is subject to strict EU rules. The consultation aims at compiling information and views on the extent, structure and main features of legal and illegal trade in ivory in and from the EU, as well as on the priorities that the EU should follow in its approach against ivory trafficking.

How to submit your response

You can contribute to this public consultation by filling out the online questionnaire.
The questionnaire is accessible in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Replies may be submitted in any of the 23 official EU languages. Given possible delays in translating replies submitted in some languages, contributions in English are welcome, as they will help to process the survey more swiftly.
You may pause at any time and continue later. Once you have submitted your answers, you can download a copy of your completed responses.
The final question gives the opportunity for documentary evidence submission (max 3 pages).
All contributions that are received may be published on the internet. It is important that you read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire

The questionnaire is available via EU Survey.
Before responding, please ensure you have read the privacy statement which outlines how your data will be processed by the European Commission.

Additional information

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, the Commission asks organisations (including NGOs, trade associations, enterprises etc.) who wish to participate in public consultations to provide the Commission and the public with information about whom and what they represent, their objectives, funding and structures, by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct.

If you are a registered organisation, please fill in your Register ID number in the questionnaire. Your contribution will then be considered as representing the views of your organisation.

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to register now. Then return to this page to submit your contribution as a registered organisation.

During the analysis of replies to a consultation, contributions from respondents who choose not to register will be treated as individual contributions (unless the contributors are recognised as representative stakeholders through Treaty provisions, European Social Dialogue, Art. 154-155 TFEU).

Contact

ENV-CITES@ec.europa.euPress
Send a message to this department

Phone number
+32 2 299 11 11 (Commission switchboard)
. Postal address
Directorate-General for Environment.
European Commission
1049 Bruxelles/Brussel.
Belgium.


https://ec.europa.eu/info/consultation ... ltation-ivory-trade-eu_en

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Europe Hunting : BC NDP announce the end of the grizzly bear trophy hunt in 2018

on 2017/9/6 11:31:33 (111 reads)

The B.C. government has announced that it will end grizzly bear trophy hunting throughout the province as of November 30, 2017, when this year’s hunting season ends, and stop all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest.

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While the grizzly bear trophy hunt will end after this season, grizzlies can still be killed for meat.

While the trophy hunt will end, hunting grizzlies for meat will be allowed to continue in the rest of the province; and this decision is not sitting well with BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson said “It is time” to end the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. About 250 grizzlies are killed annually by hunters in B.C., a number Donaldson said is “sustainable” for the population, which is estimated at 15,000 bears.


He added that public opinion on the practice has turned. “It’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.

“By bringing trophy hunting of grizzlies to an end, we’re delivering on our commitment to British Columbians. This action is supported by the vast majority of people across our province.

“In particular, we owe it to generations past and future to do all we can to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest. We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements.”

Donaldson said that government will consult with First Nations and stakeholder groups during the fall months, to determine next steps and mechanisms. Additionally, government will be moving forward with a broader consultation process on a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province.

“The key elements of that strategy will include dedicated funding for wildlife and habitat conservation and a collaborative process in developing short and long-term plans for wildlife resources,” Donaldson said.

It is not known how many of the 250 grizzlies killed annually are hunted as trophies or for meat. When asked how hunting would be policed, Donaldson said the exact regulations had yet to be determined.

“There’s not going to be any loopholes,” he said. “Hunters will no longer be able to possess the hide or the head or the paws of the grizzly bear.” It is not clear what hunters will be expected to do with those bear parts, but the government has said they will not be leaving the province.

The move is being applauded by the BC SPCA. “The decision to end grizzly bear trophy hunting is a big step in the right direction,” says BC SPCA chief scientific officer Dr. Sara Dubois. “It demonstrates the change in people’s opinions about trophy hunting.”

However, Mark Werner of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., says he is disappointed that his group was not consulted extensively during development of the new regulations, and argues that the true threat to grizzly populations isn’t hunting.

“If you want to do something great for grizzly bears, let’s work on habitat. Shutting down small businesses in this province isn’t going to help grizzly bears,” Werner said.

The announcement was slammed by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who says that the NDP’s proposal does not address many key issues, since the hunt will continue.

“Hunters go in and will be frustrated because they’re not allowed to harvest the entire animal. And it means environmental people who have been pushing for a ban on the hunt will be frustrated because the hunt will continue. And guide outfitters will be frustrated because they don’t know what’s going on.

“You could still go and shoot a grizzly and leave it all there, as far as they’ve articulated so far. So, it actually doesn’t do anything. It just basically says, ‘You can go and shoot a grizzly, you can sit on the grizzly and have your picture taken, but you cannot own or possess the head or hide,’” Weaver adds.

This year’s grizzly hunt has already started, and the government says the ban is not taking place before the season because there was not enough time to give notice after this year’s protracted provincial election. Although the election took place on May 9, it did not produce a new government until mid-July.

http://www.ashcroftcachecreekjournal. ... bear-trophy-hunt-in-2018/

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Articles : Online rhino horn auction draws few bidders

on 2017/8/28 14:50:08 (99 reads)

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's first online auction of rhino horn -- held this week amid outrage from conservationists -- attracted fewer buyers than anticipated, lawyers for the organiser said Saturday.

John Hume, owner of the world's largest rhino farm, organised the controversial three-day selloff , which ended on Friday.

Hume had "successfully concluded the world's first legal online auction of rhinoceros horn", his lawyers said in a statement, but gave no details.

"The auction yielded fewer bidders and fewer sales than anticipated," they added, "but the legal domestic trade has now been re-established and the road has been paved for future sales."

But "bidders were duly authorised to participate in the auction and were issued with legally required permits to participate," the lawyers said.

The auctioneers did not set any opening prices for bids, but all potential bidders had to pay a R100,000 registration fee to gain access to the online auction.

The auction was delayed for two days after a legal challenge and protests from conservation groups arguing that the sale would fuel poaching and undermine a 40-year global ban on the rhino trade.

Hume, who owns 1,500 rhinos on his farm north of Johannesburg and has amassed six tons of rhino horn, eventually secured a permit for the auction.

The auction organisers blamed the delays for the subdued sales.

Hume harvests the horns by tranquillising the animals and cutting off the horns -- a technique he says is humane and wards off poachers.

Hume organised the sale to dispose of 264 pieces of horns weighing a total of 500 kilograms. He is planning an offline auction next month.

The government has not publicly commented on the auction, which came after the Constitutional Court lifted an eight-year moratorium on the domestic trade of rhino horns in April.

South Africa is home to around 20,000 rhinos, about 80 percent of the worldwide population, but has suffered record slaughter by poachers in recent years.

Poachers have killed more than 7,100 rhinos in Africa over the past decade.

https://www.enca.com/south-africa/onli ... auction-draws-few-bidders

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USA Hunting : US lifts ban on hunting trophies from Zimbabwe

on 2017/7/12 9:30:00 (172 reads)

The United States of America has lifted its ban on hunting trophies from Zimbabwe, allowing the country to resume exports later this year, the environment minister said today.

On April 4, 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced an interim suspension of imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies hunted in Zimbabwe, which it later extended to 2015 and “indefinitely into the future,” because the government’s measures to protect the animals did not enhance the survival of the species.

The decision was challenged by the US Safari Club and the powerful National Rifle Association but a US District Court upheld the ban.

Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri said that according to the provisions of the waiver, Zimbabwe would start exporting the outstanding trophies in the second quarter of 2017.

“All the trophies which were being held in the country will be exported this year but under strict conditions. We have been given an opportunity to export again into the US,” she said.

The US ban preceded the controversial killing of the hugely popular Cecil, a 13-year-old male lion which lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, by Walter Palmer, a US trophy hunter in July, 2015.

The killing led to calls for tighter controls on hunting trophy imports by mainly western countries.

Zimbabwe hosts hunters from various countries including Russia, the United States, Hungary, Spain and Germany who pay to shoot animals such as lions, elephants and leopards, earning the country millions in revenue.

United States provide the bulk of the hunters and the existence of the ban has had negative effects on hunting revenue.

Bookings for the 2017 hunting season, which runs between April and November each year, are up 20 percent from the previous year’s $70 million, despite the embargo by the US.

The 2016 hunting season was depressed as most hunters stayed away due to uncertainty over proposals by some Western countries to impose stricter hunting controls on elephants and lions by mostly African countries.

https://www.insiderzim.com/us-lifts-ba ... g-trophies-from-zimbabwe/

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Fishing News : New IGFA Rule for Multi-Lure Rigs

  on 2017/7/10 10:40:00 (103 reads)

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Until 1940, there was no universal code of sporting ethics to guide anglers in their pursuits. The first steps in this direction were taken in the late 1930’s by members of the British Tunny Club, who hoped to formulate rules for ethical angling. However, the looming threat of war interrupted their plans. Shortly after IGFA was founded in 1939, its officers immediately set to the task of establishing angling guidelines and requirements for world record catches.

The following angling rules have been formulated by the International Game Fish Association to promote ethical and sporting angling practices, to establish uniform regulations for the compilation of world game fish records, and to provide basic angling guidelines for use in fishing tournaments and any other group angling activities. The word "angling" is defined as catching or attempting to catch fish with a rod, reel, line, and hook as outlined in the international angling rules. There are some aspects of angling that cannot be controlled through rule making, however.

Angling regulations cannot insure an outstanding performance from each fish, and world records cannot indicate the amount of difficulty in catching the fish. Captures in which the fish has not fought or has not had a chance to fight do not reflect credit on the fisherman, and only the angler can properly evaluate the degree of achievement in establishing the record. Only fish caught in accordance with IGFA international angling rules, and within the intent of these rules, will be considered for world records.

Following are the rules for freshwater and saltwater fishing and a separate set of rules for fly fishing.

https://www.igfa.org/News/main.aspx

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Articles : Extinction fears are raised as poachers kill their 139th rhino of 2017 in KwaZulu-Natal

on 2017/7/5 18:40:41 (114 reads)

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Image Credits: Gallo Images / Rapport / Conrad Bornman

The brutal assault took place on Sunday night, at KwaZulu-Natal’s flagship Hluhluwe-Imfolozi reserve. A total of 11 gunshots were heard before the discovery of the rhinos was made.

All six had their horns crudely hacked off by the poachers whilst they slept. Really f****** brave move, guys. When you do eventually get gored by one of these animals, you’ll have no sympathy from us.

A hundred years ago, less than 100 Southern White Rhinos were in existence. A conservation plan which spread them across African reserves restored that number to 20,000.

However, thanks to a barbaric spree of poaching, a century of hard work could be destroyed – Around 6,000 rhinos have been mercilessly slaughtered in the last decade. That’s 30% of the total population and it’s disgusting.

The shocking statistics of poaching:

. In KZN alone, 139 rhinos have been killed in 2017. We are only just halfway through the calendar year.

. The final death toll is predicted to reach 260 by 2018

. For the last four years, the national killing rate of rhinos has exceeded 1,000 a year. This equates to roughly three rhinos a day being slaughtered for their horn.

KwaZulu-Natal is currently the poaching hotspot of SA, after Kruger National Park ramped up their security to protect the animals. The reserves in the North East are under constant attack and are struggling to cope with the situation.

Read: Fury as SA’s most notorious poaching gang are released on bail

Earlier in the year, an Eastern Cape judge freed the notorious Ndlovu gang on bail after being caught with R1.2 million worth of rhino horn and hunting gear. This was a move that enraged the Chair of the Private Rhino Owners Association, Pelham Jones:

“To learn that a hardened criminal group of this calibre has been allowed bail and released from custody is unacceptable. We have in the past called similar situations to the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), and we find it bizarre and extremely alarming that, with the risk profile these individuals have, and the ability to perpetrate further crimes, are given bail.”

Stronger deterrents and punishments are needed for poachers. If the actions of a criminal minority can endanger a species, it becomes just as poor a reflection of our lawmakers as it does the poachers themselves.

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/extinc ... of-2017-in-kwazulu-natal/

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African Fishing : Unofficial world record black marlin

on 2017/7/5 10:30:00 (129 reads)

Peet Botha with a Unofficial world record black marlin off 275kg weighed gutted as it needed to be weighed in 2 pieces.Click to see original Image in a new window

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