National Geographic News

Brian Clark Howard

National Geographic

Published November 19, 2013

For Melissa Bachman, a tweet may be worth a thousand insults.

The Minnesota-based big game hunter and Outdoor Channel TV personality has stirred up controversy by posting a picture to Twitter of herself and a dead lion. Bachman tweeted, "An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion...what a hunt!"

Many outraged people have taken to social media to condemn the picture, often with harsh words for Bachman. A small sample:

To be sure, others have defended Bachman's right to hunt, pointing out that controlled lion hunting is legal in South Africa (safari hunting was recently outlawed in Botswana).

But that didn't stop opponents of lion hunting from launching a petition on Change.org, asking the government of South Africa to deny future entry to Bachman, whom it says is "an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation." That petition has more than 300,000 signatures so far.

Responding to Criticism

The group that facilitated Bachman's hunt, Maroi Conservancy, is a private preserve of 21,000 acres (8,500 hectares) along the Limpopo River in South Africa. Established in 1993, the preserve offers safari hunts of various animals.

In response to criticism over Bachman's photo, the Maroi Conservancy posted a note on its Facebook page saying, "Our motto is 'conservation through sustainable hunting.'" The conservancy said meat from animals shot on site is distributed to the local community. Funds raised through hunting are used to shore up fences and guard against poachers, the note added.

The conservancy wrote that it had recently hosted Bachman, who had expressed her desire to shoot a lion. "There are no lions on Maroi as they do not occur here naturally," the group noted.

So the Maroi Conservancy arranged for Bachman to work with another hunting outfitter in Zeerust, in North West Province. "We did not benefit financially by this hunt," the group argued.

Bachman received the necessary government permits, and "the lion was not drugged or enclosed in a camp. It was free roaming on more than 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres). Melissa is a professional hunter and in no way is she involved in dubious practices," they wrote.

The group said that it will not apologize for facilitating the hunt, and added, "As for all the negative commentary towards us, please consider how much you have contributed to conservation in the past 5 years. If you are not a game farmer and struggling with dying starving animals, poaching and no fences in place to protect your animals and crop, please refrain from making negative derogatory comments." The conservancy claims there are more animals in South Africa now than 100 years ago, thanks in part to money raised through regulated hunting.

The Heated Hunting Debate

Bachman's story touches on a controversy that has been brewing across Africa and beyond. Those who support limited hunting of big cats argue that money raised through fees and expeditions can be invaluable in conservation efforts. In the other camp, people argue that every lion is precious and should be protected, even if the species has not been officially declared endangered (there are thought to be 32,000 to 35,000 lions living in 27 African countries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has spent recent months debating whether to upgrade the animal's status).

National Geographic News recently featured a pair of essays that looked at both sides of this debate. Melissa Simpson, director of science-based wildlife conservation for the Safari Club International Foundation, wrote in September that wildlife officials need money more than anything else in order to save lions from their biggest threat, poaching. That money can be best supplied by controlled hunts, each of which can provide up to $125,000, Simpson argued.

She pointed to the example of Tanzania, which generated $75 million through lion hunting from 2008 to 2011. Simpson wrote that although non-hunting photo safaris also have contributed to conservation efforts in Tanzania, 11 out of 15 wilderness areas could continue to operate only after being subsidized by hunting revenue.

"As with the regulated hunters in the United States, the regulated hunters in Africa make a vital contribution to conservation efforts, primarily through the revenues their hunting expeditions generate for local communities and wildlife resource agencies," Simpson wrote.

Jeff Flocken, North American director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, wrote in July that lion hunts "are unsustainable and put more pressure on the species." Flocken noted that about 600 lions are killed by "safari" or "trophy" hunters a year. About 60 percent of those animals are killed by Americans, he added.

Flocken noted that trophy hunters tend to be most interested in killing big males, which he said could impact evolution of the species by eliminating some of the healthiest genes.

When a dominant male is killed, it can also lead to more deaths, Flocken wrote. Other males in the area may fight to the death to take over the pride. The winner then may assassinate any cubs sired by the previous leader.

Breeding Male?

When it comes to Bachman's picture, media reports suggest that she had indeed shot a male in his prime. National Geographic reached out to Bachman for comment but has not heard back. We also sent the picture to a big cat conservation biologist, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of this story.

Our source confirmed that the lion in the photo looks to be of breeding age, but added that the question is really irrelevant. "All lion hunting in South Africa is done on private reserves," they said. "Just because you can't see the fence doesn't mean it's not a canned hunt. It's a completely artificial industry, where these animals are bred, sold, then released in paddocks to be shot."

The lion was most certainly not a breeding member of a wild population, so its death should not directly affect the status of the species, our source added. "On an organismal level, shooting a lion is indefensible," they said. "But on a conservation level, it's a double-edged sword. There simply is not enough money for conservation, but there is a lot of interest in hunting."

Taking aim at hunters, Luke Hunter, vice president of big cat conservation group Panthera, wrote in March, "The entire process that allows hunting big cats in Africa needs a complete overhaul to purge its widespread excesses and enforce far stricter limits on which lions can be hunted and how many. That would force hunters to produce the conservation benefits of which they constantly boast but only rarely produce."


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125 comments
Dianne Gleaton
Dianne Gleaton

This is so upsetting that this behavior is allowed to happen in this day and age.  That someone derives pleasure from shooting a lion that has no defense to preserve itself while being enclosed in a fenced reserve.  This entire process needs to be stopped,  even though they recycle the meet for consumption,  there are many other species that can be breed as a food source.  That is just trying to rationalize the process and does not excuse this deplorable behavior.        

j j.
j j.

She murdered a living creature one of God's animals.  Not Cool.

Michael Westley
Michael Westley

Michael Westley 5ptsFeatured
5 minutes ago

The bare and sad fact is that what cannot be converted to money, i.e. be financially feasible, is not actively looked after and protected and hunting is by far the most lucrative of the income producers related to wildlife.   People who want to help wildlife should really rather concentrate on stopping poaching, which is rife in Africa where many types of traps, hunting, and even poisoning is used which does not differentiate between any animals, it is mere wholesale slaughter.   Habitat take-over by humans is also a mega problem, but the biggest problem of all is overpopulation by humanity about which not so much is done.

As long as we look for excuses not to anger people who form the unthinking bulk of the vote, and accept the laws which are initiated to cater to the needs of corrupt politicians and further the profits of large business concerns or greedy individuals, we will never save our wildlife. Existing basic rules must be changed so as to eject politicians or personnel at any level who are guilty of immoral or unethical conduct and to blacklist them to prevent them from ever being able to participate in Government/semi-government again.  Now that would be a good start to reforming humanity and a government would realise again that they are merely Civil servants and not omnipotent potentates.

Michael Westley
Michael Westley

The bare and sad fact is that what cannot be converted to money, i.e. be financially feasible, is not actively looked after and protected and hunting is by far the most lucrative of the income producers related to wildlife.   People who want to help wildlife should really rather concentrate on stopping poaching, which is rife in Africa where many types of traps, hunting, and even poisoning is used which does not differentiate between any animals, it is mere wholesale slaughter.   Habitat take-over by humans is also a mega problem, but the biggest problem of all is overpopulation by humanity about which not so much is done.

As long as we look for excuses not to anger people who form the unthinking bulk of the vote, and accept the laws which are initiated to cater to the needs of corrupt politicians and further the profits of large business concerns, we will never save our wildlife. Existing basic rules must be changed so as to eject politicians or personnel at any level who are guilty of immoral or unethical conduct and to blacklist them to prevent them from ever being able to participate in Government/semi-government again.


Izrael García
Izrael García

The lion should had a rifle too, and see if she were so brave as she pretend to be

B M
B M

Hunt like a true hunter: with a spear. Get out of your truck and set foot on the lions turf.

HALEY LEUCHTMANN
HALEY LEUCHTMANN

How about they're only allowed to shoot it with a tranquilizer? Then they get their stupid trophy picture, the animal gets to LIVE, and money is still generated! Sometimes I think people are so dumb it hurts when an obvious fix is right in front of them.

Bo Håkansson
Bo Håkansson

its very hard to understand the thrill of this kind of "canned hunting" on an endagered species, even though its not part of a wild population. Interessting point though, from the Maroi Conservancy group - how much have any one else contributed to finance protection? In my view, the whole thing is embarressing for both the hunter, and our society as such - Must wildlife really be conserved via hunting? "shoot what must be protected"?

ADVENTURE MAN C.
ADVENTURE MAN C.

To me it is irresponsible to shoot an animal that is on the "Endangered List". Out of all the animals to shoot she picks a lion, just one of the "Big Cats" that need conservation help. To me that just does not seem right.

DeeDee Coleman
DeeDee Coleman

If these hunters really wanted to help the villages in Africa, they should spend their $20,000-$50,000 on upgrading the village, farming and things that actually help in the long run. Not killing an animal, throwing meat at the village and saying "See what a wonderful person I am."

m m
m m

How could anyone kill such a beautiful animal for fun? People like her disgust me and I hope her ratings plummet and she is forever gone from tv. 

Lauren Higdon
Lauren Higdon

I will not criticize Bachman's hunt because it contributed more to conservation efforts than I have in my life. The death of this lion is a sacrifice for the greater good of his kind: he is a martyr. That being said, I, along with many, will regretfully turn my eyes from the sight of this majestic beast and let my heart swell with a sense of shame knowing that tragedies like this has become a sort of twisted form of conservation. I am thankful that the Maroi Conservacy will continue to host hunts such as these only for the fact that the majority of the 300,000 people who signed the petition to end big game hunts would feel a sense of self righteous pride before shock as the conservation efforts of African lions dwindled down to nothing due to a lack of funds had the Conservacy listened to them.

Thakur Jee
Thakur Jee

Wow let me kill a beautiful male lion? WTF? I'm sorry man but lions are unique and beautiful animals. Just can't see why you would take pride in killing such an awesome animal. Geez lady go fishing or something!

Jan Van Dyke
Jan Van Dyke

Jan Van Dyke

All south Africans should be utterly outraged by this disgusting woman and her cowardice! Taking a high powered firearm into the bush where this beautiful Lion lives and taking it's life is abhorant to anyone with an ounce of intelligence, empathy and compassion. It is a known fact that big game hunting in the countries of Africa that still allow it, cannot compete with photo tourism. A hunting safari in Africa yields only 10$ per hectar, where as photo safaris through tourism can yield over 100$ per hectar.This fact alone makes the conservation of these natural wonders by far more profitible than their brutal slaughter! More importantly still, when male Lions are killed, it has been observed that it has an unstabling ripple effect on the pride that he belongs to. There will be a power struggle as other male lions come in and and kill all the cubs and young male lions within that pride in order to prove dominance. On average 30 lions die when the dominant male in a pride is killed. This according to Dereck Joubert the prominant researcher of big cats in Africa.

C. Dufour
C. Dufour

Im a little confused as to why a professional hunter would travel to a part of south africa that historically has no lions..... to hunt a lion?

Donald P.
Donald P.

I worked on a 5 star private game reserve in South Africa for three years as a photographic guide...every few years we had to 'cull' lions to keep the population down as we simply did not have enough land or animals for all of them. We lost 3 male lions to territorial fights all in their prime just like the one Bachman shot. We knew this was going to happen as we had witnessed several fights before hand and male lions in their prime do not give up as they have one chance to be successful. We were never allowed to inform tourists of our animal control operations on the game reserve as they would simply 'freak' out and cause a mountain out of a mole hill on social media and more than likely not return. 99% of our guests LOVED their stay and would return if they could afford it. 

Last year we lost 2 rhino to poaching and every year we struggle to break-even as the costs of running these reserves are HUGE..in fact we often sell white rhino to hunting reserves to help us not make a loss. Our population is saturated and this small cost to the species enables more than 70 times the number of animals to survive on the reserve (if we don't the males start to fight and could kill each other). We maintain our populations at below carrying capacity of the land so we don't usually have these problems. Now if we were allowed to hunt on this reserve we could shoot maybe 1 male lion every 2 years and a few rhino...the money will go directly back into the reserve and ensure the survival of over 8000 head of game, a few prides of lion, over 100 elephant and many many white and black rhino (I can't mention the number due to poaching problems). 

Our game control operations mimic that of many photographic reserves in the country and will continue to happen regardless of your thoughts/view etc. I believe the abuse thrown at Melissa Bachman is not defendable and coming from a conservationist with first hand experience support her in helping conserve South Africa's and Africa's wildlife. Human population is exploding in Africa and what I have explained above is the future of animals in South Africa (very unfortunate but its true). My question is if you don't agree with controlled hunting of a few animals to let 95% of all species survive what do you propose for the future of wildlife in Africa on small  (10 000- 100 000 hectares) private reserves? 

A side note: a lioness gestation period is roughly 3 months and she can have 1-4 cubs who stay with her for about 2 years. In an average pride of 3 lioness and one male (just an example) this means 10 new cubs can be born in a year of the new male taking over...another words lion populations bounce back incredibly quickly.

Sara M.
Sara M.

I find the way she gloated about her actions, as well as the action itself, to be wrong. Overall I am opposed to hunting for sport, unless (and this is even a stretch) you're hunting an animal that is overpopulating an area and inadvertently causing the death of more species. I think that if you're going to hunt down an animal who is minding their own business, it better be for a good reason.

Theresa Johnson
Theresa Johnson

If the lion had ventured out and killed a human, he would have been tracked down and killed because he had proven to be a threat to our precious population. If the lions had a similar practice, this hunter would be tracked down and killed as a threat to their population. 

Richard Kelland
Richard Kelland

We as a global society have to recognise the value of establishing and protecting sustainable natural environments, and demanding that they be funded through our tax contributions. This is a species imperative, an obligation we have as custodians of the planet, not by right, but by reason of our destructive power and our ability to modify our behaviour in the face of mounting evidence.A properly regulated hunting industry may have short term merit. But in the long term it is an abhorrent solution to a problem rooted in human society's arrogance and excess.The desirable alternative of a balanced planet can only come about through individual education and enlightened thinking.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy moderator expert

Thanks to all for participating in the conversation. Just a reminder that while we welcome debate and commentary, please keep your posts civil and respectful and abide by our Community Rules.

Kobus du Plooy
Kobus du Plooy

I am from South Africa. I am embarrassed that my country received this destroyer. Minnesota should be ashamed of having her as an inhabitant. I sincerely hope we never see her again in this country and that her chums who have aided her here in her evil deed will somehow be brought to book, if not by the government (which I believe will in any case do nothing), then by the public and community.  What a loser.

Quezebo Jones
Quezebo Jones

It's not so much the killing itself as these go on all the time  but the picture of this self centered, pompous, egotistical b**** gloating over an animal she just killed in a controlled environment is disgusting. . Hunter not, Slaughterer, yes.

Geoff Fairburn
Geoff Fairburn

The funds for conservation argument is an interesting one. If trophy hunting is to provide funds for lion conservation there are two key economic questions:
 
- How much money is actually needed via trophy hunting? Do we need, for example , enough money to fence off specific areas so there are fewer conflicts between lions and humans in the wild? What?

- How do we allocate those funds once received?

Sadly there is an absence of any discussion of the above in the article. As such it is a rather superficial commentary.....



Roxanne Harradan
Roxanne Harradan

Why didn't she go head on with the lion with bare hands? Only then can she boast. This sickens me that people hunt for fun. The animal has done you no harm. Apparently this woman was starving to kill this poor lion. (sarcasm). In my opinion, (note I said 'my opinion), anyone that can kill an animal for fun can kill a human being the same way.

VINAY SINGH
VINAY SINGH

killing a lion is a shame, no justification whatsoever, it also illustartes the dark side of these people, photographing the lions, and knowing something about them is much more pleasurable than killing one, it's really shameful very shameful

DJ L.
DJ L.

This is always a great question to ask a bunch of anti-hunters who think they have the first clue on what wildlife management and conservation is.

If not the selected harvest of a certain number, how do we keep populations in check?

Secondly, where do we as people of the wildlife community get the money needed to run research projects and to improve habitat?

Throw me some answers and enlighten me anti-hunters.

Randy Abner
Randy Abner

I suspect this is one of many trophies she has - elephant?  Rhino? Gorilla?   From the picture you can tell she had been out in the bush for many minutes (sarcasim) tracking this kill.  Her attire lends itself to maybe sitting in the vehicle at close range... what a true hunter? 

Disgusting to look at...

Irenie Beanie
Irenie Beanie

the complexity of wildlife conservation is only part of what this story makes me think about ...  I personally don't believe in hunting to raise money for wildlife conservation, especially if there is lack of oversight and regulation, but it does bring up larger issues than the actions of one woman or even sport hunting in general.


The reality is that wildlife and environmental conservation without financial incentive is beyond challenging in a market-driven world. Everyone seems to think conservation is this idealistic aesthetic liberal preference rather than a physical need for our survival. But the planet will move on without us just fine... it's us continuing to exist on the planet that seems to be overlooked in the ideological debates about the "environment."


We don't exist outside of the "environment." No matter how sheltered or powerful we feel in "civilization", far away from the rapidly disappearing natural world, that world is the foundation for our civilization. And whether it's lions or clean water or polar ice caps or bees or a stable climate, when it's gone, it's gone and so are we. 


Problem is there's an economic system in place that offers short-term rewards for exploiting our natural resources and offers little to no reward for preserving them.  We have not adapted to react to distant dangers like climate change and mass extinction. All the feedback mechanisms that would normally clue us into cause and effect (that we are depleting our natural resources faster than they can be replenished) have conveniently been hidden from sight by urbanization, industrialization, and globalization. When you can walk into a grocery store at any hour in the western world and see aisles upon aisles of every kind of food you could possibly want, or turn on the tap and clean water flows without end, then issues like climate change and habitat destruction and endangered species and resource depletion and water scarcity are these completely abstract ideas - something to be scoffed at like an urban myth.


I am happy there is a small but growing movement to bring the focus back to the local and to the "environment".  I just hope with all this outrage directed at this woman, there is enough left over to direct at the failure of the larger systems that brought us to a world where we have to hunt lions in order to raise money to save them.


despondent thoughts late at night. sigh.

M. Chase
M. Chase

@Donald P. Melissa Bachman was not, as you say, "culling" lions. She was happily shooting at her leisure, the only point in it is showing what she can destroy with a bullet.

Valérie GROSSET
Valérie GROSSET

@Kobus du PlooyI had the chance to visit your country this summer. I loved! You have a wonderful country with wonderful wildlife. Protect it. And militate for your country to ban the hunting of lions.

william huard
william huard

@Roxanne Harradan Most wildlife in South Africa is grown like a commodity and made available to spoiled, arrogant, mostly American trophy hunters who are very rarely told NO...Semi -tame hand fed wildlife- comfortable around humans..........SafariClub could care less about Conservation......They want access to huntable trophies- period......They are predator haters.......In Wisconsin they supported hunting Wolves with hounds......They just spoke at the Mexican Gray Wolf hearing in Albuquerque to support the national delisting of Wolves.....Read the matthew Scully book called Dominion.....There is a chapter that explains the SCI culture to the T........Not sure of the entire quote- but something like this........Ethics at Safari Club is like ordered libertinism.  Like cannibals using a napkin and not taking the last portion.......They practice a form of "socially conscious Sadism"

Lauren Higdon
Lauren Higdon

@DJ L. You have a point. Hunting is sometimes beneficial to wildlife. Yet I have no desire in my body to stalk and kill a living creature because I find it somewhat horrific. Besides I find much more pleasure in observing wildlife in their natural habitat and how they move and interact than I do in watching their eyes widen in shock and pain before falling to the Earth, dead as a rock. If their is a benefit to lion conservation in shooting them, then by all means proceed.... I just wont be the one to do it.

Gary Dawson
Gary Dawson

@DJ L.  I agree, far too few really get how the hunting community contribute to conservation and the need for hunting as a tool for resource management.  Unfortunately the demographics of this story and that it is believed this was nothing more than a canned hunt make this a very poor example to get the word out with.

Kristina S.
Kristina S.

@DJ L. 

Ummm, you do know this was a manufactured canned hunt correct? This lion was raised to be killed and transported for this hunt, how is that keeping wild populations in check?  There are plenty of research grants and monies from safaris that do not involve killing animals for conservation efforts.  The populations of lions do not need to be kept in check anyway.  If that were the case there would be no need to farm them for greedy trophy hunters.  Lion populations are rapidly decreasing, along with all predators around the world.  

william huard
william huard

@DJ L. DJL- This "wildlife conservation" that you speak of..... Like all the poaching of redwolves, mexican grays, the coyote killing contests, the predator masters and Foxpro killing contests, the wildlife penning, the hounding of wildlife by fake sportsmen....The picking of winners and losers usually predators by the wildlife killers......Exactly what is wildlife conservation nowadays?

I pulled this off the youtube before the guy tried to shut it down.  This moron called me the usual names- liberal, tree hugger, f*****- because I stick up for wildlife against you bullies.

Enjoy- this is wildlife management in the NRM.

http://wiwildlifeethic.org2013/05/26/graphic-video-shows-true-nature-of-hounders/

Richard Horgan
Richard Horgan

@DJ L. Your questions make me wonder if YOU have the answers. What populations are you trying to keep in check? Do you know the current status of the lion populations and what percentage of our lion population we've lost in the last 100 years? About 95% of the population has been lost. Do you understand wildlife management and why there is even a need for preserves and reserves. These are very large areas that had to be established because of the lost of wildlife and habitat. Do you have any idea the relationship/balance between predator and prey? Predators naturally control the prey populations, lack of predators increases prey populations, which lead to food shortages (too many animals not enough food). Did you know prey animals struggle to fine food due to over-populations and loss of habitat. Do you know what is causing loss of habitat? Deforestation, agriculture, private preserve fencing, drought, development. In many areas of Africa, the African people really have no warm, cuddly feelings when it comes to Europeans and Americans, rightfully so, Europeans have been colonizing and destroying their land, culture, people and resources for 100's of years. Americans haven't been much better. They didn't want to lose the money tourist bring into their country, so game hunting is marketed as heavily as animals viewing. Not sure what you mean by research projects, pretty sure you don't either. Game reserves spend most of their finances on poaching enforcement and up-keep, repairing fences, road repair, transporting animals and security. They don't feed these animals, as they rely on the habitat for food. Predators rely on prey animals. Prey animals that can't find food go looking for it, which drives them closer to where humans are. They end up in their crops and among livestock. Predators will follow where prey go. Killing off our predators, which we are doing,  forces prey animals into areas they're not welcome at, as well as bringing predators into these areas. Check out the current populations of cheetahs, wild dogs, lions. I'm sure you haven't, probably too busy yakking up how anti-hunters don't know what their talking about. Do you know the dynamics of game hunting, pay a s***load of money for a permit, get a ride to where these animals are lying around and that shoot at an animal that isn't moving away because it trusts you. No one is trying to keep predator populations in check, just the opposite, people are devoting their lives and sometimes giving their lives to protect these animals. I'm not against culling certain groups of animals if it benefits the majority of animals, good example, elephants in South Africa are culled every year. Somehow you've convinced yourself that wildlife mgmt.means controlling the number of predators, did you fail to enlighten yourself on the facts? Our predator populations have made their way through some pretty tough conditions over the last millions of years, however,they're not recovering from game hunting. None of these people need the food, they're fat and rich. People have said

that the meat from these predator animals are donated to poor people for food. These people have no choice but to eat food from a predator, we don't here, we eat animals that graze, not animals that eat other animals, most Americans would consider that to be unacceptable. Have you any idea what you're saying when you comment on the 'selected harvest of a certain number'. Have you any idea how quickly prey animals increase the size of the groups in comparison to the rate of reproduction of predators. Have you any idea what happens to a pride when the alpha male is killed? Do you have any idea how money for conservation is spent? Have you ever taken any time and done your own research regarding conversation? Or do you just assume everyone who has a problem with game hunting predators are tree-hugging, kitty cat lovers who wouldn't kill or eat animals. It always the most ignorant that call everyone else out as being ignorant. There you go.....answers!

Gary Dawson
Gary Dawson

@Irenie Beanie  Excellent reply Irene.  While we likely do not entirely agree on all points, I truly enjoyed reading a thoughtful and intelligent take on the problems concerning conservation.  All the "she's a bad person" and "hunting is evil" gets tiresome.  Conservation is a much bigger picture and it includes hunters, but trying to get that out there in what should be an intelligent and conservation minded community can be difficult when even the activists are so short sighted.   Thank you for taking the time to post.

Geoff Fairburn
Geoff Fairburn

@m. chan I think we need to be cynical about trophy hunting but at the same time we do need to be open minded. This is because combating poaching will require considerable financial resources - perhaps beyond what many governments can provide. A great start would be measuring the effectiveness of trophy hunting versus other conservation options.

Juan Delgado
Juan Delgado

@william huard @Roxanne Harradan wolf hunting serves a purpose. Its used to manage the population, and after certain amount of wolfs have been hunted. The season closes. They will always make sure the population will remain sustainable. This also helps from wolves becoming habituated to humans which has terrible consequences for both humans and the species. 

M. Wagoner
M. Wagoner

@Gary Dawson @DJ L.  While I completely agree that hunting is a huge part of conservation, hunting threatened species in Africa is not the same as hunting deer in America. Deer populations in certain areas are out of control, keeping those numbers in check is conservation. Hunting for a large male in a species that has between 32,000 and 35,000 left is putting a trophy on your wall. We have made ourselves irreplaceable in the ecosystem because we have killed off the predators, the lions, that kept populations in check.   

To me this is more about how broken the system of conservation is, when they have to sell off a few of a dwindling species to pay to keep even smaller numbers alive something is wrong. 

Joseph Cole
Joseph Cole

@Richard Horgan Quite delayed on my side, but just wanted to thank you for your very insightful post! I'm trying to find research on the ill effects of trophy hunting in Africa. There is a lot of content out there about "hunting" conservation, but not too much about what non-hunting brings. I did, however, find a great article from 

Dereck And Beverly Joubert. Do you have any recommendations on other sources? http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/05/hunting-is-not-a-hot-topic-an-interview-with-dereck-and-beverly-joubert/

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