ZimParks plans standardised hunting quota
THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) is consulting stakeholders on their views as it seeks to come up with a standardised hunting quota system for 2017 to curb poaching.
This comes amid concerns about the alleged clandestine issuance of sport hunting quotas in the country which has resulted in illegal hunting of wild animals and loss of potential revenue. A sport hunting quota is a scientifically determined number of animals that can be harvested from a population without compromising the biological proliferation of that population and is invariably the panacea of sustaining wildlife populations through utilisation.
It targets mostly those animals which are no longer contributing to the proliferation of that particular species.
In a statement, ZPWMA spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the consultation process is underway.
“Partners in Chinhoyi, Bindura, Kwekwe and Kadoma have given their views and the authority’s team is currently in Bulawayo and Matopos National Park where it’s continuing with the consultation process. It will move to Hwange and Chiredzi then finally Mwenezi in the next few days,” said Ms Washaya-Moyo.
She said Zimbabwe subscribes to the principle of sustainable utilisation of its wildlife resources without causing adverse effects to the natural resource base.
“The quota setting workshops are held annually in all the four ZPWMA administrative regions namely Western, Central, Southern and Northern region. Stakeholders include ZPWMA ecologists, wildlife producers or land owners, researchers, field managers and safari operators,’ she said.
Besides making proposals for the 2017 hunting season, ZPWMA also seeks to tackle management of wildlife areas, water provision, anti-poaching, monitoring of game, game fence and translocations.
Ms Washaya-Moyo bemoaned the presence of trade bans set by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) of wild fauna and flora saying they were adversely affecting revenue.
“Sport hunting should be promoted because it contributes significantly to species conservation and the national economy while the community benefits through Campfire projects. Trade restrictions will negatively impact on revenue, where hunting contributes approximately 60 percent of Rural District Councils’ earnings and an annual national $28 million,” she added.
An approved quota is not a hunting permit but the animals listed on it are appended onto the hunting permit, a legal document for hunting. The authority issues hunting permits to operators and these should be renewed every December preceding the hunting season.
Animals included in the quotas and restricted by Cites are lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards and crocodiles. Farmers from Matabeleland North last week appealed to the Government to review the quota process saying they were not allowed to hunt wild animals such as lions and elephants whose population has ballooned and now causing havoc in human settlements. Zimbabwe has an elephant population of about 83 000 but less than 500 elephants are harvested each year through trophy hunting.—@ ncubeleon.
The Rainbow Beitbridge Express which has since been closed