It is happening again and swirling around the rumor mill and truth be told no one really knows how reputable this information is at this time. According to a few news sites Botswana’s President Ian Khama when speaking to local groups on Sunday stated that the governmment of Botswana would no longer be issuing hunting licenses next year. In other sources, we have seen the date for the closure of hunting in Botswana to be 2014.
This is the third or fourth time in the last two years that rumors have swirled around about the status of hunting in Botswana. In the past these rumors have been started by anti-hunting groups. Most hunting is done in the Okavango Delta and the Central Kalahari area further south. Both have established hunting concessions that assist in the management of wild game populations in those areas and provides assistance with anti-poaching efforts in those areas.
The reason that I suspect that this is a rumor is that there is an incredible lack of legitimate news organizations covering this story adn after talking to several folks who are very tied to the conservation movements in Africa the answers have been and contnue to be, “We don’t know?”
We will continue to watch this story as it would be a disaster for wildlife managment in the Okavango Delta. Even non-hunting conservation groups understand and see the value of hunting because it provides a monetary value for each and every animal within a region and once those values are removed by a complete ban on hunting, illegal poaching moves in quickly to trap and kill animals for bush meat and the ivory trade.
If you hear anything, drop us a comment and we will be watching this story very closely!