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The effect of the shooting

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As a hunting lobby helps save wildlife

At the end of January 2015 at the Shot Show in Las Vegas (USA) launched the campaign “Hunting is the protection of nature”. Its creation was initiated by “the HART Foundation of the Rocky mountains” (The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s — RMEF), and sponsors well — known manufacturers of hunting ammunition, rifle scopes and ammunition. In the first month of the campaign in social networks it has supported more than 1.9 million people. “This is a good start, commented the result of the Vice-President of marketing for RMEF’s Steve Decker. — We believe that this campaign will change the views of people and help them understand that hunters provide the lion’s share of funding and support of wildlife, habitat and resources conservation activities”. Largely thanks to their contribution managed to save a huge amount of protected land and hunting grounds from development, agricultural and industrial use, and to increase the population of rare animals by controlled shooting of predators.

Animals choose hunters

“The logical chain is simple, — says in his blog the member of the management Board of public organization “Right to arms” Maria Butina. — Adequate weapons legislation, therefore, more legal weapons, hence, more decent hunters, therefore, better environmental management and more respect for the fauna, therefore, flourishing fauna and flora”. It could be that the formula is not perfect — it is impossible to ignore the quality of the institutional environment of a particular state, because the development of democratic institutions does not depend only on the number of voters and taxpayers. However, statistics show that countries in which hunting has become a well-developed commercial industry with established infrastructure, have a greater number of wild animals. So, in the US, where the area of forests almost in 2,8 times less, than in Russia, there are 14 million hunters. During the year they produce about four million alone white-tailed deer. We have all wild ungulates (deer, elk, ROE deer, wild boars and others) produced 200 thousand a year — these figures leads one of the leading Russian specialists in hunting and hunting economy, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Hunting” Valery Kuzenkov. In America there are nearly 30 million deer, and in Russia — only about 2.5 million.

Some more examples: in Germany, the hunters shoot about 700 thousand hogs per year, in Russia this indicator (to African swine fever) was about 35 thousand wild boars. Sweden shoots annually 100 thousand elk, Finns — 70 thousand, and all Russia from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad — 22 thousand. These figures speak not about vampirism Europeans, and about the abundance of animals in forests of the Old world, because the production volumes are calculated on the basis of livestock. Hunting also provides the lion’s share of funds to help protect animals and wildlife — not only in Europe and the USA but also in Russia. This regular hunting fees, and license fees for shooting a particular animal, and the use of hunting infrastructure, and more. For example, a tour of the production bears in Kamchatka is 15-17 thousand dollars, approximately two-thirds of this amount goes to the host farm. By the way, interesting fact: 80 per cent of tigers live on the territory of hunting farms, and only 20 per cent in protected areas of the Far East.

Hunter vs. poacher

It is no coincidence that an important factor in the preservation of animal species in Africa and America experts call trophy hunting is the selective hunting of the most remarkable animals of a certain group is a large lion, bear, deer with the biggest horns and so on. The targets become hunting Mature animals that have already reached reproductive age, their shooting is not to undermine the population. “The argument in support of regulated, properly controlled commercial hunting is the fact that the money paid by the hunters for killing the old and infirm animals, can go for the protection of other species”, has found favor of trophy hunting in one of the television appearances, the British Prince William.

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The bear on the shore of Kuril lake, Kamchatka

Photo: Biosphoto / Valter Bernardeschi / Diomedia

Indeed, the cost of hunting tours in Africa, tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars — money allow you to feed wild animals, to hunting predators, and most importantly — to contain the formation of Rangers to protect the animals from poachers. They, along with industrial and agricultural development of wild lands, is the main beach of wild animals.

However, a statement by the British Prince has caused a storm of emotions in the European “green”, although given their stats rather speaks in favor of hunters. In Africa today, about 15 thousand Lviv, one of them fired off 300 animals annually within the framework of trophy hunting (two percent of population) — these figures leads one of the critics of William, Director of the British environmental organisation Lion Aid Peter kat. For comparison: the journal of the Academy of Sciences of the USA Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has predicted a two-fold reduction in the population of African lions in the Central regions of the continent, and the Eastern one — third, and not caused by hunters for trophies, and because of illegal hunting and agricultural land development.

Discussion about trophy hunting worsened after the resonance case: last summer, the dentist from the USA Walter Palmer, hunting in Zimbabwe, killed a popular 13-year-old lion named Cecil. This story literally blew up the Internet: killed a lion became a world celebrity, hundreds of thousands of people mourned for him and rained curses on the murderer. Palmer was temporarily out of work, the walls of his house were painted with bullies and the Zimbabwean government even had to ban the hunting of lions.

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The protest at the house of Walter Palmer

Photo: Ann Heisenfelt / AP

But when after about six months the authorities have announced the need for routine shooting about a dozen predators (due to the ban, the lions became too much), almost no one noticed — after all, these animals were not the heroes of the Internet.

Tractor and Chinese doctor

The fate of thousands of elephants each year in Africa they shoot poachers, does not cause such a surge of emotion as the death of a lion Cecil. Meanwhile, hunting in the Selous reserve in Tanzania is one of Africa’s largest wildlife reserve — the elephant population in the last ten years has decreased by 80%: in 2005 there were 70 thousand people, today is five times less — only 13 thousand.

Poverty and corruption — the very factors that contribute to the growth of poaching: ivory willingly buy wealthy Chinese — for them it is a symbol of prestige and wealth. And the money from hunting tours to help with the poachers, if they are spent properly. Until the early 2000s, half of the proceeds from legal hunting, remained at the disposal of the administration of the Park and went on staff salaries and support animals. Then the government of Tanzania changed this order, and the indices of poaching immediately went up.

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Confiscated from poachers in Kenya ivory

Photo: Allan Mutiso / Zuma / Globallookpress.com

Demand from East Asia has become a catalyst mass essentially industrial poaching. In traditional Eastern medicine uses animal parts to brew. The powder from the horn of the African rhinoceros is considered to be almost a panacea and is valued more than gold is the fact it cost the lives of thousands of animals. No luck and the saiga antelope, which dwells on the territory of the former USSR. “In the past (before the collapse of the Soviet Union) on the territory of Kalmykia was inhabited by about 700 thousand saiga — says Valery Kuzenkov. — Today there are about two or three thousand”. The reason for the sharp drop in population, according to the expert, was to eliminate the Main administration of game farms and nature reserves under the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR, which led “to an uncontrolled surge of poaching”.

But the main enemy of wild animals, according to Kuznetsova, is a tractor. In Africa, population growth and food scarcity stimulates selnozoura the once protected lands. According to expert estimates, by 2050 the traditional habitat of the African elephant will be reduced by 60 percent. This process will slow down only if the existence of wild animals will be commercially viable, and that is the argument of the hunting lobby. In the book “Hello, weapons! The presumption of common sense,” Alexander Nikonov is an interesting example. In swampy areas, American farmers were hunting for crocodiles. This outraged animal advocates, and they have made an administrative ban hunting. The preservation of wetlands was unnecessary, and farmers simply drained. Crocodiles in the area was quite.

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