Commercial Poaching in Concert with Decolonisation

Is there a direct link between the commercial poaching that is going on and the increase in the size of rural populations?
“Yes…. largely, but most greatly the poaching can be linked to bad governance, personal avarice and political incompetence.
It got really out of hand only after each country shed its colonial yoke. That is why serious commercial poaching started in East Africa – in Kenya and Tanzania – in the 1970s.
They were the first countries in east and southern Africa to gain their independence.
And that is where the most horrific commercial poaching events took place. Kenya’s elephant population, for example, declined from 270 000 to 20 000 – due to poaching that was orchestrated by the Kenyatta family – in just 20 years.
And decolonisation, decade by decade, crept inexorably ever more southwards. If you follow the pattern, commercial poaching moved down the African continent in concert with the decolonisation process. It did not rear its ugly head in South Africa until after 1994 when apartheid was dismantled.”


Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience:

Ron Thomson has 280 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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