Can a lion hunting ban be bad for lions?
When TED.com, the online headquarters of the organization devoted to spreading ideas, posted a video of Mikkel Legarth, a conservationist with the Modisa Wildlife Project in southern Africa, it raised some eyebrows among the hunting loyalty and the hunting ignorant.
Listen to his perspective on hunting lions in Africa, and the relationship between the predators, the ranchers and the hunters of the continent.
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Most of us know that informed, responsible hunters play an important role in wildlife ecosystems, and sustainable predator management not only helps that ecosystem thrive, but it benefits humans in other ways as well.
Legarth's talk centers around the way the hunting ban changed African rancher perspectives on the predator, and due to the financial loss of no longer having American or European hunters paying them to hunt on their land, no longer saw any benefit of having the big cats around.
That led to widespread legal killing through special permits given to the ranchers, and effectively decreased the lion populations.
In summary, the talk suggests that hunters help sustainably manage populations by killing off some but promising a better chance at survival for others, not to mention the positive economic impact they have on local areas.
What do you think about the video and the message from Legarth? What's your view on hunting big game and the level of conservation help it provides?