Jeffrey Flocken, regional director for IFAW, recently said, “We can't stop people from killing species in other countries, [but] we can stop them bringing the parts back to the United States. So if this were successful, it would either limit or outright stop import of giraffe parts.”
Predictably ignoring the conservation implications of hunting in Africa and using key anti-hunting words and phrases, Masha Kalinina, HSI Policy Specialist, was quoted as saying, “the public was largely unaware that trophy hunters were targeting these majestic animals for trophies and selfies. In the past few years, several gruesome images of trophy hunters next to slain giraffe bodies have caused outrage, bringing this senseless killing to light…”
Of course, Flocken and Kalinina fail to acknowledge that funding for the protection of critical habitat and anti-poaching campaigns now underway in much of the giraffe’s range largely comes from hunters and hunting organizations.
Much of the remaining suitable habitat for giraffes and other African game and non-game animals is managed under the tried and true North American Conservation Model. The model prohibits illegal harvest of animals and the selling of game meat. It also allocates wildlife by law and provides for science-based management. In a story published on The Daily Caller website shortly after the “Cecil the Lion” poaching incident took place in 2015, Dr. Alan W. Maki, Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) Conservation Committee Chair wrote, “This system gives resident animals a distinct value and hunting them will result in substantial economic benefits to support continued game management, national park operating costs, conservation programs and support of local communities.”
In short, hunters fund much of the infrastructure and research necessary for the conservation of all natural resources in Africa—and worldwide—including giraffes.
The USFWS will review the petition and make a determination within 90 days whether there is "substantial information" that the potential listing may be warranted.
■ ■ ■
Editor's Note: As anti-hunting, animal-welfare extremists step up their culture war on hunting, this article is an opportunity to remind us all to be mindful of the photos we hunters post on our social media platforms. Remember: Even the most tasteful images meant to show respect for the given animal taken are being used as a launching pad in extremists’ efforts to suggest that the populations of multiple wild-game species—giraffe or otherwise—are threatened or endangered.