Sunday, March 27, 2016

Saving the critically endangered black rhinoceros by hunting It

This is a very interesting show. I very much recommend it. Big Game Hunter Corey Knowlton on a request from a friend offered to put the minimum bid to help drive up the price of a special conservation hunt of a black rhinoceros in Namibia.  The money is going to a good cause. Knowlton was not really wanting to win, but his $350,000 bid ended up winning the auction.  No good deed goes unpunished.  

Black Rhinoceros are cantankerous creatures and old bulls have a habit of killing other rhinoceros. So wild life officials will offer hunting them for a premium price via auctions, to help fund conservation efforts to save the remaining members of this species (currently around 5,000).  

Wooly Rhinoceros from Chauvet Cave, France

Not only did Corey Knowlton get death threats, but people threatening his wife and children with rape, dismemberment and murder.  Charming huh?  

The interview on Radiolab of Corey Knowlton is very revealing. Knowlton cares deeply about saving the species. Listen to the whole thing. How little people recognize what it takes to save mega fauna like the black rhino.  Knowlton notes, who want to live next to a psychotic creature like a rhinoceros?  They are incredible dangerous and violent creatures. Which is the point so called animals lovers miss about creatures such as Cecil the Lion and the rhinoceros above. The only way you would do so, if the animal has some value to you.  

Teddy Roosevelt, Conservationist and Hunter

Whooping Cranes and Subdivisions: Ms. Gibbs says no to taking down her bird feeders

Richard Leakey is a complex figure who has done a lot of interesting things (who speaks in the RadioLab story above towards the end), but he is wrong about the hunting ban in Kenya. I do not have any desire to shoot an elephant or rhino, but I recognize in an increasingly crowed world interactions with humans and wildlife generally does not work out for the wildlife. Without a market value for maintaining wildlife, people won't do it. If you can do it all through wild life viewing, great, but hunting has its place too. Hunting works for those transitional zones between game parks and preserves. Banning it has reduced habitat for wildlife, especially mega fauna and predators.

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