Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has begun nationwide consultations aimed at setting the 2017 hunting quotas.
Source: Zimparks starts consultation into 2017 hunting quotas – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 19, 2016
In a statement, Zimparks said the stakeholder participatory approach would enable utilisation of wild animals without causing adverse effects to the natural resource base.
“Of major importance, the stakeholders are requested to comment on the issues of animals with large home ranges like leopard, lion and elephant, which could transverse more than one property,” Zimparks said.
“The participatory nature of the workshops provides checks and balances, as the landowners, are at times, more aware of their neighbours’ day to day activities.”
Quotas are adjusted according to the scientific recommended maximum sustainable off take for each particular species, taking considerations of various factors such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) limits, export data, trophy quality trends, and stricter domestic measures by importing countries are also considered.
Currently, Cites limits hunting of elephants to 500, cheetah to 50, leopards to 500 and 200 for crocodiles.
“Zimparks strive to ensure that all quotas are approved by December so that these can be marketed at overseas hunting shows,” the statement added.
In Zimbabwe, sport hunting has contributed significantly to conservation of species as well as the economy. It also provides both revenue and incentives for conservation, apart from controlling wildlife populations through harvesting of surplus old animals.
Zimparks, the statement said, does not depend on the fiscus for financial support, but the authority will be expected to raise enough financial resources and mobilise other resources for wildlife conservation, with more than $28 million raised from hunting every year.
There has, however, been an outcry in the past on how the hunting quotas were granted, with observers claiming they were being given to Zanu PF members.