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Is intensive breeding of color variations in game achieving triple bottom line profits for all?




Nel, Lizanne, speaker
Dry, Gert, moderator
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producer

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Private landowners in South Africa have, for decades, derived sustainable income from the use of indigenous biodiversity through ecotourism and hunting. These benefits provide incentives to conserve biodiversity and private landowners "protect" more than double the area of proclaimed protected areas and they contribute substantially to achievement of national conservation targets. Recent trends in wildlife ranching however include selective breeding of indigenous game species to produce extraordinary trophy animals based on either unusual colour variations or trophy quality. These animals are sold either as breeding stock or directly for trophy hunting. Breeding is generally done in intensive or semi-extensive environments to faciltate selective breeding and to reduce production risks. Financial returns on certain atypical wildlife species have been exceptionally high and they run the risk of becoming a financial commodity. Conservation agencies and certain groups within the wildlife industry have raised concerns about the potential negative impacts that this commercialisation of wildlife can have on biodiversity integrity and associated industries. Another view is however that these activities contribute to the development of a sustainable green economy. Mainstream sustainable development thinking dictates that activities only have a long-term value to humanity if their benefits continuously outweigh the social and environmental costs of generating that value. This paper discusses intensive and selective breeding of indigenous wildlife, in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability to guide our thinking in a complex, multi-disciplinary reality in order to determine the benefits and/or risks to current and future generations as wildlife is a common heritage of the people of South Africa.


Moderator: Gert Dry.
Presented at the 8th international congress for wildlife and livelihoods on private and communal lands: livestock, tourism, and spirit, that was held on September 7-12, 2014 in Estes Park, Colorado.

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Wildlife management -- Congresses
Range management -- Congresses


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