The Short and Sweet of it…

Sustainable non-consumptive tourism is dependent entirely on the maintenance of stable ecosystems; if the ecosystem is not stable it will, eventually, collapse and with it will go the tourism edifices that relied on that ecosystem.

Stable ecosystems depend on maintaining an equilibrium between conservation’s three priority considerations:

  • First for the soil (without soil there would be no plants) ;
  • Second for the plants (without plants there would be no animals);
  • and Third for the animals.

The animals come last in this priority rating not because they are UN-important but because they are LESS-important than the soil and the plants.

And to maintain that equilibrium man, periodically, or consistently, has to reduce the animals (or, at least, to main their numbers at the correct level).

If you don’t reduce excess animal populations, plants are lost, then soil is lost, then the ecosystem collapses and then tourism goes for a ball of chalk. And ‘somebody’ has to be responsible for maintaining that equilibrium.

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 161 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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