The True Green Alliance’s view on the Endangered Species Day – May 19th, 2017.
Animals don’t organise themselves at the “species level” but at the “population level”; and the management of a species can ONLY be effected at the population level – and ONLY population by population. The respective environmental “pressures” that are exerted on each and every elephant population in Africa, for example, are unique to each population; and management applications for each of those populations are (or should be) designed around, and applied to, each population separately according to the nature of their respective environmental “pressures”.
When an animal species is classified as being “endangered” the whole world presumes that its every population is “unsafe” – but that is not true. Africa’s bush elephant (Loxodonta Africana), for example, occurs in 37 range-state countries and its 150 different populations are either:
(1) “UNSAFE” (declining and facing possible extirpation because the ’causes’ of the declines cannot be reversed);
(2) “SAFE” (they occur in good numbers, are stable or expanding, and in numbers that their habitats can sustainably support); or
(3) “EXCESSIVE” (they occur in numbers that their habitats CANNOT sustainably support; their habitats are, therefore, being ever more greatly trashed every day; and, as a consequence, the biological diversities of their sanctuaries are in free-fall decline). Excessive elephant populations (in my estimation) should be immediately reduced in number by, at least, 50 percent.
When CITES declared the African elephant to be an “endangered species” in 1989 – due entirely to unsupportable propaganda pressure from the convention’s mass of accredited animal rights NGOs – it demanded that ALL elephant populations be afforded total preservation management (protection from all harm); and the essential culling of safe and excessive populations in southern Africa stopped. What this declaration actually did, therefore, was to force MIS-management on the continent’s MANY safe and excessive elephant populations. In other words, it had a negative effect on the very species CITES purported to want to ‘save’.
A common sense appreciation of the concept “endangered species”, therefore, is that it is invalid. It is fallacious. But it is more than that! It is downright dangerous for wildlife.
The labelling of a species as “endangered” creates false impressions and unattainable expectations amongst the general public (and governments; and seemingly also amongst the world’s leading “conservation” agencies) to the detriment of the species concerned.
If the ‘endangered species’ label causes the MIS-management of safe and excessive populations; if it interferes with the application of appropriate management measures in the field; and if it forces on African governments unnecessary and unjust impositions (such as the banning of imports into the U.S. of legitimate elephant trophies procured in Zimbabwe), then it is a concept that should not be praised but maligned – and it should be discarded from the vocabularies of all honest wildlife ‘conservation’ agencies everywhere.