DEA SAYS NO TO LEOPARD TROPHY HUNTING IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 2016

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DEA SAYS NO TO LEOPARD TROPHY HUNTING IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 2016

26th January 2016

There will be no Leopard trophy hunting in South Africa in 2016.  The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will not be authorising the issuing of any permits for Leopard trophy hunting this year after the Scientific Authority (the body responsible for ensuring that trade in wildlife is well-regulated in South Africa) a zero quota, stating that trophy hunting posed a high risk to the survival of the species. The national trophy hunting quota allocation for Leopard has been 150 animals per year since 2004.
Historically, the recording of Leopard hunting has been poor with inconsistent recording of ages and sexes of hunted animals.  Leopard population sizes and trends are not well understood in many areas.  These factors need to be addressed to ensure that trophy hunting does not negatively impact on the long-term survival of Leopards in South Africa.  As a result, the DEA has recommended that Leopard population monitoring is done in key areas and that norms and standards be developed to guide management before any future quota can be considered.
The Endangered Wildlife Trust has been concerned about the sustainability of South Arica’s Leopard hunting practices for some time.  Issues around the management of Leopard hunting were highlighted in a Population and Habitat Viability Assessment in 2005 and again in the Non-Detriment Finding Assessment Workshop for Leopards in 2010.  As such, the EWT applauds DEA and the Scientific Authority on taking this bold step in ensuring that our utilization of Leopards is sustainable.
Dr Kelly Marnewick, Manager of the EWT Carnivore Conservation Programme said: “For utilization to be sustainable, off-takes need to be guided by the most recent, rigorous scientific assessments for the species.  This will now be done for Leopards in South Africa.  As such, the future for our Leopards looks brighter.”
Contacts:
Kelly Marnewick
Carnivore Conservation Programme Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 11 372 3600 / Cell +27 82 477 4470
kellym@ewt.org.za

and

Carla van Rooyen
Communications Manager
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Tel: +27 11 372 3600
carlav@ewt.org.za

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