The positive effects of Hunting in Africa and how they apply to the African Lion
Sport hunting plays a role in the financial support of local communities by 1) providing local employment opportunities, 2) decreasing livestock losses and 3) bringing other ancillary resources to the communities. African lions are often sought after in the sport hunting community and provide benefits to themselves and the local community when they are harvested sustainably. Hunting plays a role in raising the value of the African lion and discourages poaching. The following examples demonstrate the ways that sport hunting benefits local communities in Africa and the African lion:
- Hunting companies contribute their own revenue to communities. Communities gain ancillary revenue generated via the employment of local personnel and purchases of local goods and souvenirs by the hunters and their families or traveling companions when they rely on that figure. Camp management and maintenance provides opportunities for local employment and income to locally owned businesses as part of the financial support that hunting provides for local economies.
- Hunting revenues donated by hunting companies exclusively for "area and community development" is not the only portion of lion hunting revenues that go to local communities. A portion of the expenditures for the hunting company's 1) operating expenses; 2) management costs; 3) wages and welfare; 4) administrative costs; and 5) central and local government levies duties etc. all go to local communities.
- Lion hunting brings economic value to the lion itself, encouraging local communities to conserve their lions rather than allow them to be poached for use as bushmeat. But the absence of poaching does not deprive the local communities of the food source. Meat from most hunted lions is donated back to local communities and is an economic benefit to the community from this food source. Local communities benefit from lion hunting.
- U.S. hunters willing pay $20,000 to $70,000 for a 21 day lion hunt; hunting of other species could not substitute for lion hunting. Hunters do not pay similar fees for most other game species.
Listing the lion on the Endangered Species Act does not change whether lions are hunted or how many lions are hunted; it changes the nationality of the hunter. U.S. hunters will be unable to import lions into the United States. Hunters from other nations will replace U.S. hunters, but pay less for their hunting opportunities. Lions will continue to be taken by locals in retaliation for livestock killings and for bushmeat, neither of which brings revenue to local communities. What an ESA listing brings is an equal number of lions lost with much less revenue for lion conservation and local community participation.