More than 70 major safari operators, hunting industry leaders and top conservationists have pledged to support Dallas Safari Club’s (DSC) newly adopted definition of the ideal huntable male African lion.
The definition reads: “The ideal huntable male lion is at least six years of age and is not known to head a pride or be part of a coalition heading a pride with dependent cubs.”
DSC adopted the position as a way to urge hunters to self-impose harvest restrictions.
Overharvest of young male lions could reduce lion populations overall, posing a real concern to the conservation and scientific management of this iconic species. Furthermore, such reductions in numbers would lead wildlife authorities to reduce quotas.
However, research shows that hunting older male lions has no negative effect on populations. Encouraging lion hunters to be more selective is a DSC conservation move being applauded by biologists and professional hunters across Africa.
DSC Executive Director Ben Carter said, “Hunting only non-pride and non-adolescent male lions should be the goal of every responsible hunter and organization with a vested interest in conserving lion populations. We’re encouraged by the broad outpouring of support that we’ve received since announcing the new DSC position just one week ago.”
Supporters are pledging to incorporate the DSC definition into their business and personal practices. To date, the growing list of supporters includes:
Dr. Bob Speegle
Danny McCallum Safaris, Ltd.
Desfountain & Jones, Ltd.
Jeff Rann Safaris/777 Ranch
Coenraad Vermaak Safaris
Shane Mahoney, Vice Global Chair for Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, IUCN
Tanzania Big Game Safaris
Tanzania Safaris and Hunting
Tandala Hunting Safaris
Safari World of Robin Hurt
Johan Calitz Safaris
Global Adventure Outfitters
Charlton McCallum Safaris
Ethiopia Rift Valley Safaris
Chifuti Safaris-Safari Classics
Bubye Valley Conservancy
Rungwa Game Safaris
Brooklands Hunting Safaris
Tanzania Game Trackers Safaris
Game Trackers Africa/Ondjamba Safaris
Tanzania Adventures, Inc.
Jofie Lamprecht Safaris
Michel Mantheakis Safaris, Ltd.
Hunters Namibia Safaris
John Sharp Safaris
John X Safaris
Mabula Pro Safaris
Kikuyu Lodge Game Reserve
Trophy Hunters Africa
De Klerk Safaris
Adam Clements-Safari Trackers, Inc.
Liam Urry Safaris
Askew and Maartens Safaris
Buffalo Trails Safaris
Hunters & Guides Africa
Jan Martin McGuire/McGuire & Hines
Matlabas Game Hunters
Thaba Mmoyo Safaris
DWD Worldwide Adventures
Kevin Thomas Safaris
Mwatisi Safaris, Ltd.
Okarumuti Game Lodge
Van Noordwyk Safaris
Omalanga Safaris Namibia
Omujeve Hunting Safaris
Forever African Safaris
Rovuma Hunting Safaris
Original Kansas Trophy Whitetails
ZimAfrica Classic Safaris–Zimbabwe
Leithen Valley Trophy Hunts
Wintershoek Johnny Viviere Safaris
DSC officials expect more pledges of support in coming days.
To further encourage selective hunting, DSC adopted a new club policy: “No DSC member will be eligible for any DSC recognition or trophy award unless the member’s lion trophy submission is a fully mature lion as determined in the sole discretion of the DSC awards committee.”
Carter said, “DSC’s mission, in part, is to promote to the world the success of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Responsible lion hunting, based on the latest science-based wildlife management principles, is a proven essential component of the complex policy formula that will preserve wild African lions and their habitat for future generations.”
For several years, DSC has been funding scientific research on African lions. Understanding lion population dynamics is one of many projects supported by DSC grants to advance conservation, education and hunter advocacy worldwide.
Image courtesy Dallas Safari Club