They are Being Left to Kill off the Continent’s Wildlife

In 2016 (at Cop17 Johannesburg 2016) the results of the very expensive and three-years-long Great Elephant Census (an all over Africa aerial elephant count with multiple aircraft) were presented to the world. It was determined that the remaining elephants in Africa numbered no more than 315 000 (or whatever other ‘points’ were made and/or added). The actual numbers quoted have no interest for me because they are unimportant; and they are fake anyway! The IUCN later stated that “there were at least 500 000 elephants living in Africa – but I did not contest the numbers (even though I did not except them either). I did not accept them because NUMBERS….  that is all they were. Not one single ‘number’ included the size of the sanctuary whereon those elephant numbers had been counted; and not one of those numbers was evaluated in terms of the respective elephant carrying capacities of the habitats wherein those elephants were living.  So, we have no idea whether those elephant populations were SAFE (breeding well and within the upper levels of their habitat’s carry capacity); UNSAFE (low in number with a declining breeding record) or EXCESSIVE (Grossly in excess of their habitat’s elephant carrying capacity – and exploding in number.) And that being so, it also meant we have no idea how each of those elephant populations SHOULD be managed. As I say: The Great Elephant Census provided us with USELESS numbers. YET the whole world continues to laud the count and to use its so-called results as the gospel truth.

Consider this situation now. Kruger National Park in South Africa is said to be carrying 34 000 elephants (the number calculated by a past Director (and previous large mammal scientist) of Kruger National Park (Dr. Salomon Joubert). The Kruger Park’s elephant carrying capacity in 1960 (according to my own scientific calculation) was roughly 4000 +/- 500 (AND THAT EQUATES TO ONE ELEPHANT PER FIVE SQUARE KILOMETERS) (The current carrying capacity is less now since the too many-elephants have severely degraded the original habitats). The too-many-elephants in Kruger (since 1960) have reduced the top canopy tree population in the national park by “MORE THAN” 95 percent (according to the current Kruger scientific team). And this situation is ‘on-going’. That means the elephant population continues to increase (to double its number every 10 years) and the habitats continue to be ever more greatly trashed every year. And this situation MUST have adversely affected the national park’s overall biodiversity. It must also be pointed out that the ‘management objective’ of the Kruger Park is “TO MAINTAIN SPECIES DIVERSITY” (And THAT is nowhere ever now being even contemplated). Kruger National Park, however, will never be ‘properly managed’ until (at least) its grossly excessive elephant population is reduced to a number that i below the CURRENT elephant habitat carrying capacity. NOTHING is more important than reducing elephant numbers at this point in time.

So, according to these so-called ‘scientists’ in Israel (and elsewhere) the ONLY important factor to consider – with regard to the numbers in the Kruger elephant population – is 34 000.  34 000, the Israeli author believes, tells the world that South Africa’s Kruger National Park is doing a fine job by its elephant management programme. The national park objective – to maintain species diversity – is nowhere even mentioned in the Israeli dissertation.
It is my contention, however (in the interests of restoring its biological diversity), that Kruger National Park should reduce it elephant population to just 2000 – to give the habitats time to recover – and then to slowly increase the elephant population to 4 000. And to then hold it at 4000 into antiquity (by hands-on management practices). THAT is the only way that Kruger’s species diversity can be restored and maintained.

I am sick to death listening to people (overseas so-called scientists AND NGOs) telling Africa how bad it is managing its national parks, its elephants and its other animal species; and how they SHOULD be managing these entities.

And this Israeli dissertation just confirms my point of view.

Never in recorded history has the world had so many elephant management ‘experts’ giving us advice. And Africa is expected to listen to their every whimper.

Just at the moment, because Africa is having to listen to the different and distorted views of multiple foreign so-called-‘scientists’, the elephants of Africa are being left to their own devices. They are being left to kill off the continent’s wildlife; to turn our national parks into deserts; and to cause their own extinction.

Africa still has to learn how to “switch-off” to all this foreign wildlife management advice. And more: How to “switch-on” to the application of proper national parks management. Too many Africans are listening to too many so-called foreign opinionista. When Africa, in fact, knows better than anybody else how to manage its own wildlife resources.

Ron Thomson.  CEO – TGA.

Referring to the article, Steep global wildlife decline may be worse than feared, Israeli study finds in TimesofIsrael.com

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: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

Ron Thomson has 261 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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