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This article was written by former Director of Wildlife for the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourisim, Alexander Songorwa. He provides great insight as to why trophy hunting in Africa is so important for the animals and the economy.
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania
ODD as it may sound, American trophy hunters play a critical role in protecting wildlife in Tanzania. The millions of dollars that hunters spend to go on safari here each year help finance the game reserves, wildlife management areas and conservation efforts in our rapidly growing country.
This is why we are alarmed that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the African lion as endangered. Doing so would make it illegal for American hunters to bring their trophies home. Those hunters constitute 60 percent of our trophy-hunting market, and losing them would be disastrous to our conservation efforts.
In 2011, five animal-rights and conservation groups petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the African lion as endangered, arguing that the population had fallen dangerously low because of habitat loss, poaching, commercial hunting and new diseases associated with human encroachment. “The U.S.,” their petition said, “is by far the largest importer of hunting trophies from Tanzania.”
Photo Credit Lauren Nassef
While that is true, the lion population in Tanzania is not endangered. We have an estimated 16,800 lions, perhaps 40 percent of all lions on the continent, the biggest population in the world. Their numbers are stable here, and while our hunting system is not perfect, we have taken aggressive efforts to protect our lions.
Tanzania has regulated hunting for decades; female and younger lions are completely protected, and the hunting of males is limited by quotas set for each hunting area in the country. We recently made it illegal to hunt male lions younger than 6 years old to ensure that reproductively active animals remained with their prides. And proposed amendments to our wildlife law would further crack down on the export of lions taken illegally, penalize hunting companies that violated our rules and reward those that complied.
Africa, of course, is endowed with a tremendous wealth of wildlife, and Tanzania has been particularly blessed. We have roughly 130,000 elephants, two of Africa’s three largest populations of wild dogs, and spectacular landscapes like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro. We have placed nearly a third of our land in national parks, game reserves and wildlife management areas.
Of all the species found here, lions are particularly important because they draw visitors from throughout the world — visitors who support our tourism industry and economy. Many of these visitors only take pictures. But others pay thousands of dollars to pursue lions with rifles and take home trophies from what is often a once-in-a-lifetime hunt. Those hunters spend 10 to 25 times more than regular tourists and travel to (and spend money in) remote areas rarely visited by photographic tourists.
In Tanzania, lions are hunted under a 21-day safari package. Hunters pay $9,800 in government fees for the opportunity. An average of about 200 lions are shot a year, generating about $1,960,000 in revenue. Money is also spent on camp fees, wages, local goods and transportation. And hunters almost always come to hunt more than one species, though the lion is often the most coveted trophy sought. All told, trophy hunting generated roughly $75 million for Tanzania’s economy from 2008 to 2011.
The money helps support 26 game reserves and a growing number of wildlife management areas owned and operated by local communities as well as the building of roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure — all of which are important as Tanzania continues to develop as a peaceful and thriving democracy.
If lions are listed by the United States as an endangered species, American hunters may choose to hunt other prized species outside of Africa or simply not hunt at all. This would add further strain to our already limited budgets, undo the progress we’ve made, and undermine our ability to conserve not only our lions but all of our wildlife.
As Tanzania’s highest-ranking wildlife official, I ask on behalf of my country and all of our wildlife: do not list the African lion as endangered. Instead, help us make the most from the revenues we generate. Help us make trophy hunting more sustainable and more valuable. In short, please work with us to conserve wildlife, rather than against us, which only diminishes our capacity to protect Tanzania’s global treasures.
Prois Staff Highlights Important Items Needed for Your Next Safari
It’s time to go on the once in a lifetime safari you’ve always dreamt of and it wouldn’t be the same without Prois along for the ride. This is the type of hunt where nothing can be left to chance, so don’t get caught in the African bush without the right equipment. Prois wants you to be as comfortable and as prepared as possible, so take a look at the top suggestions for going on safari.
Let’s start with the plane ride over. It can be a long and grueling trip to Africa, and by the time you get there, you might be thinking more about finding a chiropractor than your first African species to hunt. Luckily, Prois offers a slight solution to this problem. No, they don’t sell chiropractors, but they do sell the “quintessential happy pants”, more commonly known as Prois’ Adventure pants. These pants will make you feel warm and fuzzy and are certain to help ease the pain of flying. What’s even greater about the Adventure pants, they are also perfect for hunting, sightseeing, and wearing around camp. Constructed of 94% nylon and 6% spandex, the fabric on these “happy pants” is lightweight and stretchable. Elastic drawstring cuffs keep them tight to your boots and deter burrs and thorns. They come in colors olive and stone and are extremely affordable at only $129.99.
The next on Prois’ list of versatile items are the popular Ultra shirts, offered in both short sleeve and long sleeve. Like the Adventure pants, Prois’ Ultra shirts are equally as comfortable and are great for all aspects of your adventure. They are lightweight, breathable and work great as a layering piece or alone once the temperatures rise. All Ultra shirts are made with moisture wicking polyester fabric and are extremely quiet. They come in Max 1, Realtree AP, and black. Prois suggests reviewing the laws of the country you will be hunting in, as some countries do not allow the use of camouflage.
Africa is known for its extreme temperatures, so a good layering system is a must. Prois’ staff suggests the Pro-edition vest and jacket combo, which are great for cold rides on the truck to and from camp. Both are easily stored in a daypack should you need them while stalking game. The Pro-edition jacket and vest are both made with water and wind resistant technology and are lined with Prois’ signature nylon tricot for ease of layering and movability. Both feature multiple pockets for storing extra gear, including a spacious lumbar compartment for must have items during a stalk when a backpack might be left behind. These items come in Max 1, Realtree AP, and Mountain Mimicry. Prois suggests Max 1 for hunting in Africa.
Hunting in Africa wouldn’t be the same without a leather belt, sling, and cartridge holder. Luckily, Prois offers all three. Made with genuine leather, these items will not disappoint. The “P” emblazoned belt will be perfect for holding a knife, flashlight, and other accessories while the cartridge holder takes care of your extra ammo. Be as comfortable as possible during long hikes through the African bush with the Prois gun sling on your shoulder.
You can get all of these products and more at www.proishunting.com, just look for the Safari Staff Pick logo to easily find the item you want. These featured products are also suggested for other overseas destinations such as New Zealand or Argentina.
Prois was created for women, by women who refuse to settle for downsized men’s gear or upsized children’s gear. Each garment is created with the most technologically advanced fabrics available and a host of advanced features to provide comfort, silence and durability. The company’s out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in amazing designs for serious hunters that have taken the industry by storm and raised the bar for women’s outdoor apparel.
To learn more about the company’s innovative line of serious, high-performance huntwear for real women, contact: Prois Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 · Or visit: www.proishunting.com
Prois staffer, Donna Boddington, with a nice common zebra taken with John X Safaris in South Africa. Camera man Matt Young filmed the hunt for Petersen’s Hunting TV!
Prois Staffer, Heidi Simonis, loves her new rifle sling! Learn more about these awesome slings and more at http://www.proishunting.com/…/acce…/prois-leather-gun-sling/
Don’t get caught without one… Your friends might make fun of you.
Check out this photo of Prois customer, Linzie Hueter, with her beautiful Red Stag taken on the South Island of New Zealand near Queenstown!
By: Kirstie Pike- CEO and Founder of Prois
It’s safari season again! We shout a resounding “hooray” for all of you gearing up for your African journey! What to wear…what to wear?
The Prois staff put their collective heads together to come up with what THEY think is the best line up for your upcoming hunt!
1. Prois Adventure Pants. These are a must-have for your hunt. They are lightweight and comfortable. Not only do they pack well, they wash well and dry quickly. We suggest the olive for hunting in Africa.
2. Ultra Long Sleeve Shirt and Ultra Short Sleeve Shirt. Both are perfect for safari but make sure you are hunting in a region that allows camouflage. The Ultra shirts wick moisture in the hotter temperatures and breathe nicely as the day heats up. They are lightweight and very packable. Both are available in Realtree AP, Max1 and black. Personally, I used the black options on my recent hunt in Namibia.
3. Pro-Edition Vest. Africa can be cold in the mornings and evenings. Our Pro-Edition vest is perfect for additional core warming. It can be worn alone over shirts or layered beneath a jacket for the exceptionally cool mornings. Again, check to ensure you can wear camouflage in your hunting region.
4. Pro-Edition Jacket. Did we mention it gets cold there? The Pro-Edition Jacket offers a great shell as it is constructed with 3-ply fabric that includes microfleece, windstopper and a soft brushed tricot on the outside. The hood is removable if you are trying to reduce the bulk in your luggage. I personally loved this option on my recent trek to Namibia.
5. Prois Leather Belt and Cartridge Holder. Yes. Although it may not seem like a necessity, I found these products to be life savers. Not only are they extremely functional, they offer that traditional safari look and feel. It felt like a slice of elegance!
Now…go on and get yourself all set for your upcoming adventure! If you utilize our suggested layering system you can minimize the amount of gear you have to tote across the globe! And remember, Prois loves photos of your hunts! Send them our way!