Ron Thomson has 195 posts and counting. The leopard, the smallest of the Panthera family of cats, is a shy creature that tends to carry out most of its activities after dusk – which makes night time safari drives all the more exciting! It is, unfortunately, something that we have to accept. In the following years, due to increased tourism within the Park, the hunting operation was discontinued. Commercial farmers in Africa, on whose domestic stock leopards also prey, kill them with poisons, too, and/or they trap and/or shoot them. They have a hard enough time surviving themselves as it is, without having to compete with wild animals for a place in the sun. The Endangered Species concept is a fallacy. He will grow maize, spinach, cabbages and bananas; and he will not want to protect elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards. SHAMWARI BIG CAT SANCTUARY They will still kill leopards, as they have always done, for the same reasons! Income to the Park from the hunting operation increased. Fish & Wildlife Service Re: The Zimbabwean Elephant Trophy Ban, Controversy Surrounding Hunting, The Captive Breeding of Lions and The Hunting of Captive-Bred Lions, in South Africa. Situated along the Western border of the world-famous Kruger National Park is a series of private game reserves. A Leopard is one of the most majestic animals on the planet. 4, max. Regarding the Leopard. You cannot manage wildlife by way of public referendums, and THAT is what a petition is. Seeing Leopard in the Greater Kruger, South Africa. And now, you say, things are being done ultra vires the new park policies – to hide the new regime’s policy short-comings – and swept under the carpet (under the principle of “shoot, shovel and shut-up”)!!!!!! Researchers from England's Durham University set out to the study leopard population in South Africa's Soutpansberg Mountains over the long term. And wild dogs were introduced, too, and I hear they are using the fence-lines to sandwich their prey animals in order to make easy kills. Born Free rescues individual leopards from lives of misery in African and European zoos, circuses and other captive environments. The IUCN Red List leopard population data that does exist (despite the potential flaws outlined at the start of my comments) indicate that across sub-Saharan Africa, a decline of over 30% has been noted over the past 25 years, with some 67% of the leopards’ historic range lost. We are living in different times, Koos, and nowadays we have to go with the flow….. like dead fish in a tidal stream! Wildlife ACT is officially contracted by the international wild cat organisation, Panthera, to conduct Leopard population surveys within South Africa. Animal Rights Groups Fail to Hijack Africa Wildlife Summit, Important Perspective - Joint Statement on Captive Bred Lion Shooting, Media Release: Captive Bred Lions have a Huge Conservation Value. Lions were introduced (they were considered a MUST by the new regime – one of the BIG FIVE – for tourism!!! ) Currently, the FWS classifies leopards in northern Africa as endangered … Female leopards protect their young cubs by hiding them in lairs. We rehome leopards at our big cat sanctuary in South Africa and provide them with lifetime care in spacious, natural bush enclosures, giving them the space and privacy they so desperately need. Also found in some private nature and game reserves. Africa’s progressive wildlife managers are conscious of all these states of affairs and they want to add wild animals to the list of species that can help Africa’s people to survive. And the same is the case for all the other states of southern Africa. So, we believe that to have taken so much account of the content of a petition on a wildlife management issue as important as this one is, shows a level of naiveté (or disregard for biological facts) that is unbecoming of a so-called scientific authority (FWS) that purports to be a world leader in wildlife management affairs. The TGA does not accept the apparent divine right of the FWS to enact domestic American laws that will adversely affect another country’s wildlife. Good day Ron, Therefore, the leopard species needs all the help and protection it can get – a place on the Endangered Species List is one much needed step that would help to ensure the species has a chance for survival against the many threats it faces. Leopards have disappeared from 40% of its territories in Africa and 50% in Asia. fair chase, no baits, no drag lines, no dogs, no shooting from the safety of a blind, no shooting from the safety or from the back of a high railed cruiser, as seen on Leopard attack, where our leopard is blasted away after being chased by a pack of dogs in Botswana. South Africa is currently experimenting with a new and constructive way of controlling the hunting of leopards involving, inter alia, dividing the country up into leopard-range blocks and allocating one huntable leopard per year per unit-block. This response has been sent to Ms.Janine Van Norman at FWS HQ as requested. Fish & Wildlife Service, The Leopard & Its Endangered Species Ranking, This statement is a service to society. The survey work has a direct impact on protecting the leopard population in South Africa. Male leopards from the coastal mountains of South Africa’s Cape Province are much smaller, with an average weight of 31 kg (n=27). “Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, prey depletion and conflict with people are some of the biggest factors threatening leopards at the moment,” says Prof Daniel Parker, associate professor at the University of Mpumalanga, who oversees a number … But leopards are a unique challenge: unlike other apex predators in South Africa, 62% of their known range is outside protected areas. An example of such flawed/biased ‘thinking’ was evident in 2011 (“Hunters Hold Wildlife to Ransom,” Africa Geographic, 15 November 2015) when in partnership with Safari Club International (SCI), Namibia launched a census “to manage the sustainability of the leopard population.” A questionnaire was distributed to 1,500 farmers to assess the distribution and relative abundance of leopards throughout Namibia. The leopard (Panthera pardus) is probably the most wide-spread and successful big cat in the world. How can a predator not be endangered if it is hunted as Leopards are ? Found throughout South Africa with concentrations in most National Parks, provincial reserves, protected and inaccessible areas. There are some things they have to put up with, like we have to put up with traffic ect. The South African savanna – spotting the teeming life in bushveld grasslands . The Leopard population expanded and today once again, displaced Leopards are leaving the Park and killing domestic stock – for which the owners require compensation. THAT is their prerogative and it is to be expected. The department said the decision is based on the review of available scientific information on the status and recovery of leopard populations in South Africa. Leopard in Etosha National Park, Namibia The leopard is listed in CITES Appendix I. There is no place in Africa where our big cats are hunted i.e. In response to a petition received by the American US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), suggesting that the Service should reclassify the leopard’s status throughout its range, from ‘threatened’ to ‘endangered’, in terms of the American Endangered Species Act (ESA), on 20 December 2017 the Service issued a document (ID: FWS-HQ-WS-2016-0131-0742) entitled “Endangered and Threatened Species: 90-Day Findings for Five Species”. By the way. The Southeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) is the nominate cheetah subspecies native to East and Southern Africa. Young of such species, however, are preferred. The whole physiognomic nature of the park changed. Your email address will not be published. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. This can include being hunted for their skins or being killed by farmers protecting their livestock. So, any reference to leopard population numbers is based on modelled estimates (or guesstimates) – any proposal to base hunting quotas on leopard species numbers is scientifically subject to risk/confidence levels that the source data cannot reliably substantiate. In a few years they may need to kill a few back, but not now. The cause of this morph , known as a "strawberry leopard" or "pink panther", is not well understood. ), we took off 400 warthogs a year from the national park. That same year, the whole world proclaimed the WCS to be the BLUEPRINT that would take man and nature, in symbiotic harmony, into posterity! 1. As they are endangered , no amount of money should be able to buy an endangered trophy !!! ALL the aloe (A.marlothii) were exterminated – a main refuge and breeding place for the oxpeckers. Leopards enjoy think vegetation and use this as a means of hunting and hiding. This article explores the list of endangered animals in Africa – which species are on the list, and just how endangered they are. On human occupied land, they become veteran domestic-stock killers, taking animals up to the size of a full grown ox; although sheep, goats and calves are the most common. Two leopards fall from tree in mid-air fight in Kruger National Park in South Africa. There is a good chance, therefore, that South Africa will find its own solution: to making leopard hunting sustainable and viable; to protect the leopard from indiscriminate killings; and the hunting community is working with the government in this regard. Reports of stock-killing outside the Park were negligible. Subject: The U.S. By Nicole Conner For Mailonline. Mark, Agreed! Leopards will eat the foulest of rotten carrion, and they will kill wild game as big as an adult kudu, wildebeest, ostrich and hartebeest. The leopard is the second largest of the big cats in South Africa and is nocturnal predators. In 2017, its status changed to vulnerable – one step below endangered. and they began eating very expensive breakfasts (disease free buffaloes that were selling to the game ranch industry at that time for R 250 0000 each – and the fact that Pilanesberg was created for the benefit of the local people (when profitability was of major concern) was ignored. Born Free rescues individual leopards from lives of misery in African and European zoos, circuses and other captive environments. These animals are precious to the eco system and the world , when they are gone they are gone. Wait til their numbers recover. Zululand, South Africa. DATES June/July 2023 (12 days) x pre-enroll GENRE wildlife TOUR LEADERS Marsel van Oosten and Daniella Sibbing FEE 9,975 EURO from Johannesburg, South Africa SINGLE SUPPL. Practically every other animal species was properly ‘managed’ and cropped via the hunting facility. On the contrary, they are a great liability because they become adept at killing domestic stock. Let’s hope there is now a transparent, consistent reliance on independent science to assess any threatened species’ protection. When every major national park in Africa contains a good leopard population that is SAFE and stable, there are NO grounds at all for believing that the leopard, as a species, is in anyway endangered. By the year 2000, this number had grown to 622 million. When survival stakes are all that a man in Africa has to think about, which will be the case by 2100, he will not grow beautiful flowers in his garden. The proposal to list the leopard as a so-called ‘endangered species’ implies that the FWS believes and accepts that. I refer now to the population in the Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa. The authors of the petition in question are not identified. Prey animals are meant to be hunted not predators. That makes the American ESA a false foundation for any kind of wildlife management deliberation or action. including the local communities. Such an unfortunate event. Man requires the same things to survive that wild animals need to survive. During the 1980’s and 1990’s we had a hunting operation in Pilanesberg and during that time I was a manager in the Parks system and also a Professional Hunter and I hunted extensively in the Parks system with overseas paying hunting clients for 12 years. Locals poison and kill these animals to keep them from killing their flock animals, I understand their side of it, but they live in Africa !!!!
If this is repeated during the current century, there will be over 4 billion people living in this same region of Africa by the year 2100. “They are actually putting poisons out to target leopards because there is such a high demand for leopard skins now,” said Dickerson. Enter your email address to subscribe to the news and receive notifications of new posts by email. Public petitions have no scientific basis, they normally only express the personal and emotional opinions of a small segment of the public: people who have no knowledge about the management needs of the species concerned; who have no accountability for the consequences of their demands; and who take no cognizance of realities on the ground. If I remember correctly (? I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. But we have to remember that new regimes do things “differently” to the way the old regimes did things. I do not believe hunting dollars do this in a case like this , remember when they are all gone they are all gone , what will hunting dollars do then? If the TGA is to succeed with its objectives we need ever more new members! The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) protects the feline species, and the sale or possession of its parts is illegal in South Africa. By comparison, the numbers of leopards killed by hunters is minuscule. One of those species was the leopard. Leopards are found throughout Africa but have been exterminated in the North of Africa and in the greater part of South Africa. The only plant and animal species that are assured of survival in Africa into posterity are crops like maize, spinach, cabbages, bananas and TAME animal ‘products of the land’, like cattle, sheep and goats. Several species of trees disappeared. There were only 400 replies. Leopard populations are present in several protected areas, including: Male leopards from the coastal mountains of South Africa’s Cape Province are much smaller, with an average weight of 31 kg (n=27). Leopards are endangered mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. This is what the IUCN’s (International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s) World Conservation Strategy (WCS) recommended in 1980. Volunteer With Endangered Species . Collectively, they should be given the opportunity to take this domestic programme to its logical conclusion without having to suffer the impediment of having to also contend with unwanted and unwarranted legal restrictions imposed by foreign states. This approach works best for Africa’s leopards! We sustainably cropped other game for cheap meat sales to the local people, too. American trophy hunters have taken at least 300 leopard lives per year for trophies, so listing the leopard on the ESA will undoubtedly help to save leopards being lost to hunting. To put the projected human demand into perspective, Africa has the fastest population growth rate in the world (UN 2015, pp. In July 2016, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Center for Biological Diversity and The Fund for Animals filed a legal petition with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to extend the full protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to African leopards. Because of its adapted retinas, leopards can see seven times better in the dark than humans. In other words, man in Africa, at the turn of this century, will not tolerate any kind of survival competition. A study of a sample of leopards in South Africa has shown that 22 percent of males were still living in their childhood habitat even after crossing the age of 3. Hunting and tourism zones were created in Pilanesberg and, due to the park’s mountainous nature, they were easily kept separate. Everyone is encouraged to join. The difference in colour is not indicative of a separate sub-species, but rather dominance of the dark-coloured pigment melanin in the skin, and is the opposite of albinism. Only cowards go after our big cats as it is more dangerous to hunt a wart hog on foot. Their fur was prized as a very valuable commodity in the 1960s and 1970s, and livestock farmers drive them away from their natural habitat. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has confirmed that a zero quota for the hunting of leopard (Panthera pardus) has been extended to 2017.The department said the decision is based on the review of available scientific information on the status and recovery of leopard populations in South Africa. A growing religion in southern Africa is posing a threat to the survival of wild leopards. 3, 9; UNEP 2012a, p. 2); future population growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to be large and rapid (UN 2013, p. 9). In rural areas African villagers persecute leopards, killing them indiscriminately at every opportunity. We were taking off 10 percent of the white rhino population every year for hunting in those days (beside the leopards) – 20 white rhinos a year – and their sale to the hunting fraternity brought us more money than 57 000 ordinary tourists coming through the entrance gates. Stephen Wiggins 21st January 2017 Article, Petition 6 Comments, Banner image courtesy of, Petition – “This is our chance to stop leopard trophy hunting and ban the U.S. import of leopard parts from Southern Africa.”. When they know they are being hunted they become illusive, crafty and experts at avoiding detection. These include well-known names such as the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and collectively are undoubtedly the best places to see leopards in Africa. And no conservation authority worth its salt should be guilty of applying MIS-management to any wild animal population. Man is a dominant part of the animal kingdom and he is subject to the natural laws of nature. 4, max. Although they are amazingly tolerant of human activity and persist where other carnivores cannot, they have been extirpated from approximately 37% of their African range. Lubinda, Thank you for your insight at a local level – there are always knock-on consequences when the eco-system is manipulated by humans (and in the case of leopard hunting, that’s humans seeking fun from killing, nothing more). By locals and game hunters? DATES June/July 2023 (12 days) x pre-enroll GENRE wildlife TOUR LEADERS Marsel van Oosten and Daniella Sibbing FEE 9,975 EURO from Johannesburg, South Africa SINGLE SUPPL. What is abundantly clear is that declaring leopards to be a so-called endangered species, and registering them, as such, on the American Endangered Species Act listings, will have not one iota of effect on the behaviour of indigenous rural villagers in Africa or well-to-do commercial farmers. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has confirmed that a zero quota for the hunting of leopard (Panthera pardus) has been extended to 2017. Part 1. There are three categories of wild animal populations: Wild animals do not arrange themselves at the species level. 9. The USFWS is taking comment (until 30 January 2017) on the issue of adding the leopard to the ESA, so please participate. I think that the old Bophuthatswana wildlife management programme was much better than the present one – but who am I say what is right and what is wrong. Tigers & Leopards . Everybody was happy…. Black leopards have developed an almost-mythical status and are rarely seen throughout their range. The innovative Bophuthatswana wildlife management policies, therefore, were tossed out the window. Remember the good times – and keep trying to convince today’s hierarchies to manage our wildlife heritage in the best possible manner. Africa’s wildlife managers are cognizant that this is the likely outcome and their wildlife management programmes take this probability into account. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. The government of Tanzania , should be forced by the world as a whole to stop hunting of these animals. South Africa) a leopard can be sought out that conjures the illusion of it being a “ problem animal that had to be killed by a trophy hunter that happened to be in the area ” – thereby, CITES Appendix I protection can be out manoeuvred it would seem by such farcical contrived “ problem leopards ” and flawed base data. So, the original South African National Conservation Strategy became an almost verbatim replica of the World Conservation Strategy. Leopards exhibiting erythrism were recorded between 1990 and 2015 in South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve and in Mpumalanga. Over the past number of years a lot of attention has been given to the poaching of Rhinos (which is still a major problem today). Wildlife in South Africa is abundant, with almost 300 mammal species.. South Africa is well known for its immaculate wildlife and national parks. Required fields are marked *. When Pilanesberg became a National Park and the animals were protected and conserved, the Leopard population increased and thrived. Claws are out! Trophy hunting has little (if anything) to offer in terms of short, medium or indeed long term benefits that are going to help the leopard, or any other so threatened species. Whilst they compete well with other predators, in the absence of other big cats they are extraordinarily successful. Your email address will not be published. This is not a culture any field based conservationist would recognise as an ethos likely to promote any given target species’ sustainability/conservation.