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Minerva @ Midnight: elephant capital and wild skies

2 min read

More elephants will get killed as trophies. Cash-short countries do have to think about revenue, and carrying capacity is but a rationalization when eco-tourism is crippled by a pandemic. What’s worse is that killing bushmeat remains always remains an option beyond the poaching for ivory.

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— red instead redemption (@khatange) April 28, 2021

After LaPierre's first shot wounded the elephant, guides brought him a short distance from the animal, which was lying on its side, immobilized. Firing from point-blank range, LaPierre shot the animal three times in the wrong place,”

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— Quartz Africa (@qzafrica) May 5, 2021

Farawo also says the hunting program helps to prevent Zimbabwe’s national parks from becoming overpopulated by elephants, and maintain its “ecological carrying capacity,” which refers to the resources available to support a population in a certain area, sometimes measured as between 1—4 elephants per square mile (or 2.5 square kilometers).

He cites the country’s largest reserve, Hwange National Park, as an example. “Hwange is 14,650 square kilometers. The maximum carrying capacity of that park must be 15,000 elephants. But we are sitting on between 45,000 and 53,000 elephants, which means the concept of one elephant per one square kilometers is not happening.” he says.

The effectiveness of using ecological carrying capacity as a guide to manage both animals and their habitats is contested in the conservation world. Ross Harvey of Good Governance Africa, a research and advocacy not-for-profit organization focused on improving governance on the continent, disputes the logic of “excess” elephants.

“That concept is built on a pretext that there is a certain ‘carrying capacity’ for elephants per square kilometre, but that notion has also been debunked by numerous recent scientific papers,” he says, citing studies from 2018 and 2006 looking at South Africa’s Kruger National Park as examples.

qz.com/…

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— Africa story Live (@AfricaStoryLive) May 6, 2021

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