Target: Minister of Environmental Affairs Bomo Edna Molewa
Goal: Applaud South Africa for banning hunting leopards for the year of 2016.
South Africa has banned leopard hunting for the year of 2016. While this isn’t a permanent ban, it is a step in the right direction. We can only look forward to turning this year-long ban into a permanent ban.
Recommendations from South African scientists urged the Ministry of Environmental Affairs to ban hunting for at least one year. Their concern stemmed from the unknown size of South Africa’s leopard population. Leopards are nocturnal, secretive animals who hunt over a large range of land, and this makes them hard to keep track of. Scientists and conservationists are unsure just how many still live, so the hunting ban is a bid to ensure they have time to repopulate.
Many want this ban to become permanent, and it would be great news to hear. However, South Africa receives a huge income each year from the sale of up to 150 permits allowing individuals to hunt “big game.” These permits include the hunting of rhinos, elephants, leopards and lions. Each license sells for roughly $379,000 or 6.2 million South African rand. This is a huge sum of money from these permits alone and something that will be difficult for government to eliminate.
Despite this, any sort of regulation to halt the hunting of these animals is to be congratulated. This ban gives hope that the hunts could be banned entirely.
Dear Environmental Affairs Minister Molewa,
With so many beautiful animals lost to extinction, it’s wonderful to see the recent ban on leopard hunting. Many would love to see this ban made permanent, although we acknowledge the difficulty in that. Still, with poachers ever more intent, it is wonderful to see steps taken to help prevent the loss of these beautiful animals.
Thank you for protecting the life and well-being of South Africa’s leopard population.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Will Burrard & Lucas Barcroft