by Karen Mehall Phillips - Wednesday, April 22, 2015
NRA’s Susan Reece, Director of NRA-ILA’s Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources, is pleased to report that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has now approved two permits allowing for the importation of sport-hunted black rhinoceroses from Namibia.
The 15,000 comments the USFWS received from the public likely helped to cement that decision, but the bottom line is that the USFWS recognizes that sport hunting is making a difference in conserving the species. The FWS first recognized the conservation value of the hunts to the species in April 2013 when it issued the first permit.
Namibia’s black rhino management program showcases how hunters worldwide can play a key role in protecting the species and allows for the harvest of five rhinos per year. Namibia’s wildlife management officials determine which rhinos are taken, focusing on the territorial, non-breeding males that prevent younger males from breeding.
While taking five each year ultimately enhances black rhino population growth, let’s not forget where these five hunters’ dollars go as they pay a high fee for each hunt. For example, the two hunts that the USFWS recently approved will generate $550,000, critical and much-needed funds that pay for conservation, anti-poaching efforts and community development efforts throughout Namibia.
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