You should not look at this problem as an ‘elephant problem’ but rather as ‘national park problem’. The principle conservation-objective of a national park is to “maintain species diversity” (That is, species diversity of both plants and animals). If you want to know more about this problem may I suggest that you purchase a copy of my book: “ELEPHANT CONSERVATION – The Facts and Fiction.” It costs just 300 South African Rands (approx./ US$ 20). All your questions are answered in that book.
Global warming (by man) is a myth. Human population explosion is real. We can only deal with the truth – with the facts. And when too many elephants destroy the habitats in a national park, they also cause the extinction of the plants and the animals that depend on those habitats. Sure you can change wildlife management practices to anything you like, but the PRINCIPLES of wildlife management are immutable. THEY cannot be changed – not even by one little inch. And wildlife management practices are determined by those principles. In southern Africa we have no elephant poaching problem (at least poaching is not adversely affecting our elephant populations). Just understand that the countries of southern Africa would be quite happy to provide elephants to anybody who wants them – but the recipient countries will have to find the money to move them (and the costs are very high). In southern Africa our elephant populations are between 10 and 20 TIMES too many – and OUR concerns are NOT about saving a few elephants. Our concerns are more about how we an save our national parks – which the elephants are turning into deserts.
We have the best of the world’s elephant management expertise in southern Africa. We don’t have to get anybody else to tell us how to manage our elephants. And we will be prepared to move as many of them that you would like to move – to where ever. But we cannot wait indefinitely. We have to start killing elephants en masse – and soon – if we are to save our national parks; if we are to save the plants (habitats) in our national parks; and if we are to save all the other animals species that live in our national parks, too. Our FAR TOO MANY elephants are killing everything.
CITES is a tragic enemy of wildlife in Africa. THAT FACT TOO is discussed in the book. CITES should be dissolved and done away with. Africa and its wildlife is damaged more by CITES than by any other factor.
We have the “correct teams of scientists” – many times over in fact – who can make our ‘realistic’ dreams come true. “Moving” elephants, however, is not the problem. That fact that there are too many elephants is the problem. And the ONLY solution is to reduce their numbers to a level that their habitats can sustainably support them.
I would recommend that you procure a copy of the book I have recommended. AND/OR, maybe also, the book: “Managing our Wildlife Heritage” (R100 = <US$ 6).
With kind regards
Ron Thomson – CEO – TGA
Comment by Karin Harrington on the blog post “About The Culling Of Elephants In Botswana”
I see the problem and respect the dilemma. I too have spent my career with wildlife but in conservation biology with endangered species. The Botswana problem is very sad.
The author has long experience and expertise, but in this world of encroaching global warming and human population explosion, can’t we look at changing the established wildlife management practices.
Why save elephants against poaching and in some African Countries they also say they have too few elephants.
I realise CITES in August is prohibiting the sale of elephants outside Africa.
Harness the people who want to contribute. If the world would financially support the plan, can the elephants be moved within Africa or even globally. Both Brazil and China are offering land masses for elephant translocation. With the correct team of scientists, vets and animal carers, is trophic rewilding possible or just a dream???