Reply to Peter Mills’ Ndhlovu Elephant Controversy Comment

Dear Peter,

I have this morning  responded to you directly and civilly – which has been your desire.  I hope that what I have said in my today’s email to you will eventually make sense to you. It is the only approach that any responsible wildlife manager should and can entertain.

If you know there are too many elephants in Kruger (as you say you do) then I don’t understand your “case”. If there are too many elephants in Kruger (as there are; and which you admit) the only thing you can do is to reduce their numbers to a level that their habitats can support. That means carrying out what is called a “population reduction exercise” (which is NOT “culling”; it is heavier than “culling”; it is humane slaughter). If the elephant counts I have been given are correct (34 500) – and I believe there are more than 34 500 – and if my calculated elephant carrying capacity  is correct (which it is) then the wildlife managers must reduce the population to the carrying capacity level (which is 3500) – although it is probable that the carrying capacity since 1960 MUST have been considerably reduced by now (due to the continuous destruction of the elephants’ habitat).

You imply that the Kruger scientists have carried out “research”. Tell me: What “research” have they done to determine the elephant carrying capacity of Kruger National Park? I will tell you what research they have done in that direction: NONE!

The currency of ‘conservation’ is NOT ‘statistics’.  It is “management” carried out according to scientific objectives and principles. And the ONLY objective (and principle) we need consider in Kruger National Park is “MAINTAINING THE PARK’s BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY”. And the only way that ANYBODY is going to return Kruger to its former biological diversity is to restore the Kruger Habitats to their former state; and the only way to restore the Kruger habitats TO THEIR FORMER STATE is to reduce the park’s elephant population to its sustainable elephant carrying capacity level.

THESE ARE THE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES OF WHICH I SPEAK.

DO I HAVE TO SAY ANY MORE?

KIND REGARDS

Ron Thomson. CEO TGA

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