Does trophy hunting overall harm species?



While sports hunting most certainly does harm the animal that the hunter kills when it comes to the species the question is not so simple if you look past the emotions.


On average more than 126,000 trophies are imported in the U.S. every year. These include 1,000s of animals that are Endangered or threatened to go extinct. Most come from Canada (43%) or South Africa (32%). With Snow goose (111k), Mallard (104k), and Canada goose (70k) being the top three imports. African hunts cost 10s of thousands of dollars and focus on buffalo’s (~17k), but also cover lions (~30k), elephants (~40k), and leopards (~18k).  


Trophy hunting helps the local economies and helps pay for conservation. “Without trophy hunting, Illum-Berg argues, there would be no antipoaching there, no management. “I keep on saying: Give me a better idea than hunting as long as it’s sustainable.” She adds, “The big question, in the end, is, ‘Who’s going to pay for the party?’ ”” and Marnewecke says “I feel quite shitty when an elephant dies, but those elephants pay for the conservation of the other 2,500 that move through here. Trophy hunting is the best economic model we have in Africa right now.”


On Big Game Hunting which aired Jan 29 2012 Lara Logan went to Texas where ranchers have brought back endangered creatures to large numbers which they pay for with trophy hunting. It started back in 1975 that turned into a major achievement in wildlife conservation. Bringing back three African antelope from the brink of extinction. Texas is now home to the largest population of horned oryx, the addax, and the dama gazelle because of trophy hunting. Now a billion-dollar industry in Texas supporting 14k in jobs.


CNN's Amy Dickman wrote “a risk that by banning trophy importation without considering the alternative land uses, the headline-grabbing but usually small threat posed by trophy hunting could be replaced by the far more silent, deadly and larger threats of land conversion, poaching and conflict…. the aim should be to reduce overall unsustainable mortality rather than focusing on one particular activity… Our ultimate goal should be to really understand the threats to each population and aim to reduce those, based on science rather than emotion.


So overall do you think trophy hunting harms the species?

Recent Comments

Posts: 3
12 months ago
July 05, 2018

I had no idea trophy hunting paid for conservation efforts. It makes sense though when it's put in this light - killing 1 to save thousands. Thank you for bringing this to light.

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