UN Affiliate Endorses Rhino Hunt

DALLAS (Dec. 23, 2013)—A global conservation organization affiliated with the United Nations is the latest wildlife authority to endorse Dallas Safari Club’s (DSC) upcoming auction of a black rhino hunt in Namibia.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is composed of scientists and experts representing more than 200 government and 900 non-government organizations.
In a December letter, an IUCN committee chair wrote, “From a conservation perspective, we believe there are sound and compelling reasons to support this auction, and do not see any valid reasons for opposing it.”
The letter noted numerous benefits of hunting along with Namibia’s excellent track record in conservation before concluding with the following paragraph:
“We recognize that it is not immediately intuitive that trophy hunting—even for endangered species—can be a positive conservation tool that can be used to fight poaching and acquire more habitat for wildlife. We further understand that the very idea of hunting is abhorrent to many people. However, in a world that requires pragmatic conservation solutions, trophy hunting—where well managed—is frequently one of the most effective conservation tools available. Capitalizing on the humane demise of a post reproductive animal in order to produce tangible benefits for the conservation of its species is a sound strategy worthy of strong support.”
IUCN’s full letter, plus other supporting statements from scientists, conservationists and rhino experts, is posted at the URL below:
DSC will auction the rhino hunt during its annual convention and expo, Jan. 9-12, in Dallas. Financial as well as biological benefits to rhino conservation efforts are at stake.
DSC expects the permit to sell for at least $250,000, perhaps up to $1 million. All proceeds will be returned to Namibia for underfunded rhino-related projects such as anti-poaching patrols.
Black rhinos are aggressive and territorial. Old, post-breeding males are known to kill younger bulls, cows, even calves. They also consume food, water and space needed to sustain breeding animals. Biologists say removing these animals improves herd survival and population growth.

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