Why are Animal Rightists so Bad for Wildlife?

Because they interfere (often stop) many “best practice” ecosystem management programmes that are essential for the maintenance of wild animals and the vital diversity of African wilderness.

Every wild animal species is adapted to live in a particular kind of habitat. Many species cannot live in any other.

For example, nocturnal bush babies and night apes live in the top canopies of trees in continuous woodland. They move from tree top to tree top all night long – catching their prey and/or eating the sap of particular acacia trees, without ever having to go onto the ground.

They are very vulnerable to predation when they are on the ground – by small predators like jackals, caracals, genets, serval cats, African cats and large mongooses.

When animal rightists interfere and stop elephant population reduction programmes in our national parks, therefore, they become the direct cause of extinction of animals like bush babies and night apes when the elephants destroy their habitats.

Destruction of habitats in our national parks – all kinds of habitats – occurs when excessive elephant populations reduce the numbers of top canopy trees.

Since 1960, for example, the numbers of top canopy trees in Kruger National Park – and the various related habitats associated with climax woodlands – have been reduced by “more than” 95 percent.

In this destruction of the Kruger Park woodlands, the elephant have already extirpated (or are in the process of exterminating) many species of trees; and many complex and essential habitats have already disappeared. So you can imagine just how many species of arboreal, woodland and woodland-understory dependent animals have been adversely affected – including a great variety of mammals, reptiles and insects.

So you can imagine just how many species of arboreal, woodland and woodland-understory dependent animals have been adversely affected – including a great variety of mammals, reptiles and insects.


Image: Galago moholi South African lesser bushbaby
Photo credit: Gerald Doyle

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 279 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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