Common Sense in Conservation (I)

In recent years there has been an ever greater onslaught by First World animal rightists (A/Rs), to thwart the application of essential science-based wildlife management practices in Africa.

What is more worrying is the fact that Western governments have been complicit insofar they have used these animal rightist attacks for their own political gain; and the political elites have pledged to write into their Western-country laws A/R demands that would place control of wildlife management practices in Africa back into First World ‘white-nation’ hands.  

THAT is neo-colonialism!  It is about time, therefore, that ‘The West’ understood that Africa’s wildlife belongs to Africa, and that Africa’s people should be afforded the dignity of being allowed to manage their own wildlife as they see fit.  

Africa does not need First World’s governments to tell it what it can and cannot do with its own wildlife.

Consequently, the well-being of Africa’s wild animals, and the maintenance of Africa’s essential national park habitats, is now at serious risk.


If you wish to gain an understanding of the animal rights doctrine and how and why it adversely affects the natural world, you need to develop a ‘feeling’ for this rhetoric!  Who are these animal rightists?  How do they really fit into the bigger conservation picture – if at all?   

Ron Thomson

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 279 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

2 thoughts on “Common Sense in Conservation (I)

  • It’s a sound argument for African governments to make…but.
    There remains a lingering view(and not entirely without truth) that the continents governments all have some level of corruption that spills into wildlife conservation, sustainability and hunting.
    I am in no way suggesting colonialist did it entirely right or that colonialism was right…but.
    Close your eyes and try to imagine 1st world governments telling Kenya and Tanzania how to run wildlife populations in the 1950-70s.
    The antis have gotten more vocal at the same time African governments are struggling for wildlife resources and to improve or establish a reputation for sound wildlife conservation and sustainability. There are many that are doing it right in Africa now. They should continue to be vocal against 1st world governments and build the creditability that no one can reasonably argue against.

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