Repository logo

Trophy hunting & sustainability: temporal dynamics in trophy size & harvesting patterns of wild herbivores




Muposhi, V. K., author
Gandiwa, E., author
Bartels, P., author
Makuza, S. M., author
Madiri, T. H., author
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, publisher

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


We explored the trophy quality and trends in harvesting patterns (i.e., 2004-2015) of buffalo (Syncerus caffer), elephant (Loxodonta africana), kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) and sable (Hippotragus niger) in Matetsi Safari Area, northwest Zimbabwe. We used long-term data on horn and tusk size, age, quota size allocation and offtake levels of selected species. We used linear mixed models to analyse the effect of year, area and age on the trophy size, quota size and offtake levels. One sample t-test was used to compare observed trophy size with Safari Club International (SCI) minimum score. Trophy sizes for buffalo and elephant were below the SCI minimum score. Kudu trophy sizes were within the minimum score threshold whereas sable trophy sizes were above the SCI minimum score between 2004 and 2015.Age at harvest for buffalo, kudu and sable increased whilst that of elephant remained constant between 2004 and 2015. Quota size allocated for buffalo and the corresponding offtake levels declined over time. Offtake levels of elephant and kudu declined whilst the quota size did not change in the same period. The quota size for sable increased whilst the offtake levels fluctuated without changing for the period 2004-2015. The trophy size and harvesting patterns in some species pose a conservation and management dilemma on the sustainability of trophy hunting. We recommend: (1) temporal and spatial rotational resting of hunting areas to create refuge to improve trophy quality and maintenance of genetic diversity, (2) introduction of variable trophy fee pricing system based on trophy size.


Presented at the 9th international wildlife ranching symposium: wildlife - the key to prosperity for rural communities, held on 12-16 September 2016 at Hotel Safari & the Safari Court, Windhoek, Namibia.

Rights Access



Associated Publications