Government decides to slaughter 25 elephants in Mozambique
Ad?rito Caldeira, The Club of Mozambique
April 10, 2019

http://www.verdade.co.mz/tema-de-fundo/35-themadefundo/68337-governo-determina-o-abate-de-25-elefantes-em-mocambique

The Government of Felipe Nyusi, which has as one of its priorities
“Ensuring the Sustainable and Transparent Management of Natural Resources
and the Environment” and receives millions of dollars from donors for the
National Plan of Protection of the Elephant, determined the killing of 25
pachyderms by the end this year.

Environmentalists say the @Verdade not being public the criteria used in
setting the quota of even more slaughter pending the results of the third
National Census of what is the largest land mammal.

>From 1 April to 30 November is the hunting season in Mozambique, during
which the Ministerial Diploma 23/2019 of March 15, initialed by Minister
Celso Correia, established the quotas for the slaughter of 19,864 wild
animals.

They stand out in the document in the possession of @ True 49 lions, 103
leopards and 25 elephants to be slaughtered that everything indicates by
hunters.

Mozambique is one of the largest elephant cemeteries in the world, about
10,000 were killed by poachers between 2010 and 2015 reducing the
population to about 9 thousand animals. In the years that followed, nearly
500 elephants were killed by illegal hunters seeking their ivory teeth,
which from the conservation areas are trafficked by ports and domestic
airports to the avid markets in China.

With the start of the governance of FelipeĀ  Nyusi became the protection of
the elephant, as well as other animal species, in a national priority so
the @Verdade questioned the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural
Development (MITADER) why a protected species was in the list of animals to
be hunted in 2019.

After more than a week, Minister Celso Correia, as well as the National
Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), did not respond to the queries
of @Verdade.

Elephant Hunt Costs at Least $50,000

An official at one of the wilderness farms in southern Mozambique where six
elephants will be killed tried to explain to @Verdade that “animals
occupy a territorial space, eat and drink water and hunting is a
sustainable management tool.”

The source who asked not to be identified cited as an example part of
Kruger National Park that will be semi-desert “the explanation is one,
elephants push the trees and how much they are in an amount beyond the load
of a certain area are a problem and have that is to diminish those that are
more”.

“Yes it generates revenues that are paid to the state and 20 percent go to
the surrounding communities,” confirmed our interviewee who estimated at
least 50 thousand US dollars the minimum cost of an elephant hunt.

Hunting Can Generate Revenue to Protect Wildlife and Benefit Local People

For environmentalist and conservationist Alastair Nelson nothing justifies
the hunting of animals particularly the African elephant however in many
countries. ?The costs of protecting the environment, wildlife and natural
areas are borne by poor people living in conservation areas or near them.
These costs are direct, for example, damage in the fields, or indirect,
lack of access to resources or land.”

“Ideally, these costs should be alleviated by the government, which should
target economic development and social upgrading initiatives in these areas
because these people incur costs for national benefit – national parks or
protection of forests and river basins that benefit downstream users etc.
The people involved are relatively few in these remote areas, so
governments and their development partners do not take on this
responsibility and prefer to say that conservation organizations have find
finding ways to generate direct revenue from activities and share the
benefits,” he explained.

According to Nelson, who has extensive experience working on biodiversity
protection in Mozambique, and beyond, “There are a few ways to do this, and
trophy hunting is one of them. Trophy hunting is a particularly good tool
in remote and wild places that are uncomfortable and hard to reach, and
have low densities of wildlife. Most tourists who travel for photos do not
want to go to these places and most of the wildlife areas in Mozambique fit
that description, so hunting is important to bring revenue to government
departments that protect wildlife and wildlife environment, and also to
bring benefits to the local population.”

However, attention is drawn to important aspects that have to work in order
for hunting to be effective for conservation. “Is the recipe being
collected correctly? Is the recipe being used properly and transparently?
Do the right benefits flow to the local population regularly and
transparently? Are the sites involved in the management of conservation
areas?”

Quota for Slaughter in Areas Where Wildlife is Being Repopulated

However, there is a second aspect that needs to be safeguarded which is
related to the numbers of wildlife in Mozambique, especially elephants.

Alastair Nelson pointed out that without the recent elephant count data he
can not delve into the issue adequately, alluding to data from the 3rd
National Elephant Census that are expected to be released in the coming
months.

“But what I can say is that ANAC is doing its best to monitor and manage
the elephant population in Mozambique. They stopped the elephant hunt in
the Niassa Reserve after the count of 2014, which showed such a large
decline there. This is the most important hunting area in Mozambique, and
elephant hunting brought a lot of revenue. There are some hunting areas in
Mozambique that have done a very good job of protecting elephants, and I am
sure they have populations healthy enough to hunt,” he clarified.

Nelson pointed out that we need to take into account whether the number of
elephants to be hunted is to areas where we know that poaching rates are
negligible and elephant populations are still increasing; to determine how
many male elephants are in specific sub-populations of elephants in
Mozambique; and, once we have an estimate for male elephants in these
sub-populations, determine if 25 is a sustainable amount to be slaughtered.

In addition the conservationist revealed to Truth that trophy hunting is
done for adult elephants because in addition to the hunt it generates ivory
revenue that can be exported to the country of origin of the hunter,
naturally through an existing legal process. The so-called human-animal
conflict usually has young male protagonists who are still establishing
their domains.

Paradoxically part of the share of elephants to be slaughtered is allocated
to wilderness farms in the Limpopo Transfrontier Park area which was
stripped of wildlife and has donated animals from Zimbabwe and Botswana to
be repopulated.

Biggest Evangelical Church in Southern Africa Threatens Leopards in
Mozambique

Regarding the leopard hunt that this year is scheduled to hit 103, the ANAC
told @Verdade in 2017 to ignore the exact population of animals in
Mozambique,however, he warned that a tradition of the largest evangelical
church in South Africa, professed by the Zulus, was threatening leopards in
Mozambique.

“They wear garments based on leopard skin,” said Carlos Lopes Pereira,
chief of the Department of Surveillance of the National Administration of
Conservation Areas, who regretted that “there are no more leopards to do
this.”