The following are the signatories to a letter in the Times today calling for a rethink of the draft Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill which is currently meandering through the House of Lords.
Professor Adam Hart, University of Gloucestershire; Professor Amy Dickman, University of Oxford; Dr Dilys Roe, IUCN SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group; Dr Hugh Webster, Wild Entrust; Dr Aamir Ibrahim, Nanjing Normal University; Aaron Nicholas, MSc, Wildlife Conservation Society; Professor Adam Hart, University of Gloucestershire; Dr Adam T. Ford, University of British Columbia; Agostinho Jorge, MSc, Niassa Carnivore Project; Dr Alayne Oriol Cotterill, Lion Landscapes; Dr Alec Christie, University of Cambridge; Dr Alexander Lees, Manchester Metropolitan University; Altaf Hussain, Zoological Survey; Dr Amy Hinsley, University of Oxford; Ana Grau, MSc, Lion Landscapes; Professor Andrew Balmford, University of Cambridge; Dr Andrew Hearn, University of Oxford; Andrew Malherbe, MSc, Save the Rhino Trust; Dr Andy Blackmore, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife; Professor Anne Goodenough, University of Gloucestershire; Dr Anthony Caravaggi, University of South Wales; Dr Arie Trouwborst, Tilburg University NL & North-West University SA; Professor Atif Yaqub, University Lahore; Professor Ben Garrod, University of East Anglia; BenJee Cascio, Lion Landscapes; Dr Brian Child, University of Florida; Bupe Banda, MPhil, University of Cambridge; Dr Byron du Preez, International Anti-Poaching Foundation; Cathy Dean, Save the Rhino International; Dr Charlotte Searle, University of Oxford; Dr Chris Brown, Namibian Chamber for the Environment; Dr Christine Breitenmoser, IUCN Cat Specialist Group; Professor Christo Fabricius, Nelson Mandela University; Dr Clara Bocchino, Tranboundary Natural Resource Management; Professor Clifford Shearing, University of Cape Town; Professor Craig Packer, University of Minnesota; Damian Bell, Honeyguide Foundation; Dr Dan Challender, University of Oxford; Dr Daniel Natusch, EPIC Biodiversity; Dr Danielle Hinchcliffe, John Moore’s University Liverpool; Dr Darragh Hare, University of Oxford; Dr Dave Balfour, Independent Consulting Conservation Ecologist; Dr David Mallon, Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr David Roberts, University of Kent; Professor David H.M. Cumming, University of Cape Town; Dr Diogo Verissimo, University of Oxford; Dr Dominik Bauer, University of Oxford; Dr Douglas Clark, University of Saskatchewan; Dr Duan Biggs, Resilient Conservation; Ed Sayer, MBA, Frankfurt Zoological Society; Professor Dame EJ Miller-Gulland, University of Oxford; Elise Nghalipo, MSc, University of Science and Technology; Elise Serfontein, Stop Rhino Poaching; Dr Elizabeth L. Bennett, Wildlife Conservation Society; Dr Emily Bennitt, University of Botswana; Dr Emily Strange, Leiden University; Dr Everton B.P. Miranda, Mato Grosso’s State University; Dr Frank Vorhies, Oxford University & African Wildlife Economy Institute; Dr Gabriele Cozzi, University of Zurich; Gail Potgeiter, MSc, Nelson Mandela University; Professor George Wilson, Australian National University; Professor Graham Kerley, Nelson Mandela University; Professor Graham Webbe, Charles Darwin University; Dr Gregor Kalinkat, Department Community and Ecosystem Ecology Leibnitz; Dr Hany Tatwany, Wildlife conservation consultant; Dr Hayley Clements, Stellenbosch University; Dr Holly Dublin, IUCN Sustainable Use & Livelihoods Specialist Group; Dr Hugh Webster, WildEntrust; Hugo van der Westhuizen, MSc, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust; Dr Ignas Heitkonig, Wageningen University; Dr James Borrell, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens; Dr James Stevens, IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict & Coexistence Specialist Group; Dr Jeanetta Selier, National Biodiversity Institute; Dr Jeff Muntifering, University of Oxford; Jen Newenham, Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC); Dr Jeremy Cusack, Okala Ltd; Dr Jesse Alston, University of Arizona; Dr Jim Labisko, University College London; Dr Jo Shaw, Save the Rhino International; Dr Joao Almeida, Mozambique Wildlife Alliance; John Kasaona, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation; Dr John W. McNutt, WildEntrust; Jonathan Kwiyega, Landscape and Conservation Mentors Organisation; Dr Joseph Bull, University of Oxford; Professor Joseph Mbaiwa, University of Botswana; Joseph Parker-Jones, MSc, Environmental educator; Dr Juan Herrero, University of Zaragoza & IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group; Professor Julia P.G. Jones, Bangor University & Utrecht University; Dr Julien Fattebert, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Dr Karen Laurenson, Frankfurt Zoological Society; Karine Nuulimba, MSc, Maliasili; Professor Keith Somerville, University of Kent; Kristie Gill, PhD Candidate, University of Georgia; Dr Laura Perry, Indianapolis Zoo & IUCN SSC; Dr Lee Foote, University of Alberta; Dr Lisanne Petracca, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Dr Lochlan Traill, University of Leeds; Dr Lucy Vigne, Oxford Brookes University; Professor Luke Dollar, Catawba College & Duke University; Professor Marco Festa-Bianchet, Universite de Sherbrooke; Dr Matthew Agarwala, University of Cambridge; Dr Matthew Child, South Africa National Biodiversity Institute; Dr Matthew Shirley, IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group; Dr Matthew Wijers, University of Oxford; Dr Matthew J. Grainger, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research; Dr Maurus Msuha, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism; Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford; Professor Michael Archer, University of New South Wales; Michael Lesecha, BSc, Wildlife Conservation Society; Mick Reilly, Conservation and Security Executive; Dr Mike Hoffmann, Zoological Society of London; Dr Mike Knight, IUCN Rhino Specialist Group; Dr Mohammad Farhadinia, University of Oxford; Dr Morgan Hauptfleisch, Namibia University of Science and Technology; Dr Munib Khanyari, Nature Conservation Foundation; Mxolisi Sibanda, MPhil, Commonwealth Secretariat; Dr Neil Jordan, University of New South Wales; Dr Niall Hammond, Griffith University Brisbane; Dr Nikolaj Bichel, University of Hong Kong; Professor Nils Bunnefeld, University of Stirling; Dr Paolo Strampelli, Panthera & University of Oxford; Dr Patience Gandiwa, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority; Dr Patrick Aust, University of Oxford; Dr Paul Johnson, University of Oxford; Dr Peter Apps, Botswana Predator Conservation; Dr Peyton West, Frankfurt Zoological Society; Dr Philippe Chardonnet, IUCN Antelope Specialist Group SSC; Piet Beytell, MSc, Namibia Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism; Raoul du Toit, Lowveld Rhino Trust; Rebecca Klein, Cheetah Conservation Botswana; Dr Ricardo Rocha, University of Oxford; Dr Richard Emslie, IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group; Richard Sowry, Kruger National Park; Professor Rob Ogden, University of Edinburgh; Professor Robert Kenward, UK Government’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; Professor Robert Knell, University of Hull; Robert Thomson, MSc, Felines Communication and Conservation Consultants; Dr Rodgers Lubilo, Frankfurt Zoological Society; Roseline Mandisodza-Chikerema, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority; Professor Sarah Durant, Zoological Society of London; Serge Patrick Tadjo, Cameroon Ministry of Forest and Wildlife; Professor Shafqat Hussain, Trinity College Hartford; Shahid Zaman Khan, MSc, Wildlife and Fisheries Punjab KPK and Gilgit Baltistan; Shakil Durrani, MSc, Gov. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir; Sharif Baloch, MSc, Department of Wildlife Balochistan; Simon Hedges, Zoological Society of London; Simon Mark Lamb, IUCN Commission on Environment, Economic & Social Policy; Simson Uri-Khob, MSc, Save the Rhino Trust; Stefan Michel, MSc, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU); Dr Stotra Chakrabarti, Macalester College St. Paul Minnesota; Professor Stuart Pimm, Duke University; Dr Sue Snyman, African Leadership University; Dr Sugoto Roy, IUCN Cat- & Human Wildlife Conflict- Specialist Group; Dr Syed Mehmood Nasir, Ministry of Environment; Theresa Sowry, MSc, Southern African Wildlife College; Dr Tim Davenport, Re:wild; Professor Tom Cameron, University of Essex; Dr Urs Breitenmoser, IUCN Cat Specialist Group; Dr Vernon Booth, IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group; Dr Waseem Ahmad Khan, Pakistan Wildlife Foundation; Professor Zahid Baig Mirza, Scientific Committee Islamabad Wildlife Management Board
Impressive. Their letter said:
"As international conservation experts we support a conservation amendment to the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill. Trophy hunting is an emotive topic but the weight of evidence shows an overall conservation benefit. Trophy hunting protects wildlife habitat, funds anti-poaching and mitigates against the greater threats of habitat loss, poaching and conflict with local people. It is not identified as a key threat to a single species covered by the bill. At present, the bill would block imports of hunting trophies from more than 6,200 species, regardless of whether hunting harms or benefits that species. This risks causing serious harm to wildlife and local communities and is irresponsible, given that there are no alternatives ready to replace trophy-hunting revenue at the speed and scale needed. The government should support an amendment whereby hunting trophies are permitted only if they demonstrate clear benefits to both conservation and local livelihoods, fulfilling the government’s manifesto commitment and helping, rather than harming, conservation."
Quite! But will the government listen? That has to be in doubt as, as I may have noted before, Conservatives don't always seem to favour conservation. Odd isn't it?