WASHINGTON DC – -(AmmoLand.com)- In the latest example of hunting serving wildlife conservation, the Trump administration and US Fish and Wildlife Service approved the import of a black rhino taken by a Michigan hunter in 2018 in the African country of Namibia.
Lost in the dramatic reporting since the import was granted is the crucial role of hunting in the conservation and status of black rhino in Namibia; this oversight does an injustice to Namibia's successful rhino conservation program and denies the general public the knowledge necessary to understand conservation of rhino.
Specifically, half of the 5,500 black rhinos in the wild are found in Namibia and the country more than doubled its black rhino population between 2001 and 2012 and continues increasing it by five percent annually. This remarkable recovery was achieved through a conservation program that relies on sustainable hunting to manage herd balance, fund counter-poaching operations, fund park management and incentivize local communities to protect rhinos. This is possible by acknowledging the simple fact that for the good of the herd and to allow for herd growth, certain rhinos must be removed.
According to well documented scientific literature, including reports by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) African Rhino Specialist Group, removing a limited number of older, post-productive rhino bulls stimulates growth of rhino numbers through:
- Reducing male fighting and juvenile mortality, a result of older rhinos becoming highly aggressive and territorial;
- Maximizing herd growth, which is attained when populations have greater female numbers and the herd is kept below their area's carrying capacity in order to minimize the risk of density-dependent effects such as the availability of food sources;