[botswanapredatorforum] Re: Report on Setata Fence

  • From: "Richard White" <rhwhite@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 09:44:29 +0200

Re: [botswanapredatorforum] Re: Report on Setata FenceI never cease to be 
astounded that supposedly intelligent people can continue to write this sort of 
nonsense. For example:-
  "the average 'poisoner' has not had access to lion shooting for many years 

  Stock owners don't hunt lions for fun (=sport). It's a necessity so they are 
shot or poisoned whether licenced or not.

  "Hunting simply propagates the same old mentality of ridding the bush of 

  Hunting can generate cash which is much more effective at changing mindsets 
than any amount of "education", especially where the "educators" are cuturally 
completely alienated from the audience. Sport hunting (i.e. killing animals for 
fun), subsistence hunting and killing animals in defence of life or property 
each involve a different mindset and mental approach by the "hunter". Each is 
as different as chalk from cheese from the others and treating them as  single 
entity is counter productive. The notion that 'hunting' is not part of nature 
is nonsense - humans evolved as hunter-gatherers and what do Lions do for a 
While I agree that Lion predation on the overall scale has negligible impact on 
the livestock industry, the impact on individual herd owners can be 
devastating. To cite an example:- Many years ago, my father had friends who had 
a dairy farm on the Athi Plains within (lion) walking distance of the Nairobi 
National Park. The old man had a clear policy that any lion which came to the 
farm was promptly shot and losses (to both lions and cattle) were kept in 
bounds. When his son took over, he decided to tolerate the lions. In short 
order, he found himself losing two pedigree Jersey cows a week. No enterprise 
can sustain that level of loss and the lions, most of a pride, had to be shot. 
Every stock farmer knows this, hence the attitude. 

The biggest immediate threat to Lion populations is the capture of cubs to 
supply the canned lion hunting industry in South Africa (canned lion hunting 
has started in Botswana too). The lioness is almost always shot. Staff within 
DWNP are deeply implicated as are some politically well connected people. I 
have sent a detailed dossier with names, dates, telephone numbers, money paid, 
numbers of cubs etc, etc, to the highest in the land but nothing effective is 
being done.

Richard White
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Dereck Joubert 
  To: botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 1:26 PM
  Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Re: Report on Setata Fence

  Hello Pete, Mark,
  I don't ever understand the logic behind and the knee jerk reaction to a lion 
ban possibly increasing poisoning in today's conditions. The people who have 
been stopped from hunting recently are the safari hunters and the average 
'poisoner' has not had access to lion shooting for many years now. If we add 
hunting in again, the same guys will poison for the same reasons they do now. 
In essence, man and in particular livestock man, has limited tolerance for 
things that eat livestock, and they feel as though they can do what they can 
about diseases...AND predators., so they do. Reducing conflict takes a major 
mind set change. Tourism does that (good examples out of Duba Vumbura etc) 
Hunting simply propagates the same old mentality of ridding the bush of 
predators (on a sliding scale of effectiveness.) It is time, and actually it 
has been happening fairly well, to put effort behind education and tourism 
initiatives that change that perspective from "use, fight, resist, be a apart 
from  nature " to something more akin to becoming part of it and seeking 
passive benefits, of which there are many, from nature.    
  I believe that we have two distinct issues. Hunting, and poisoning, and the 
two are not related now to any great degree. 
  I believe that the call for a hunting ban is a response to the plight of all 
big cats globally, (all are in serious decline) and even if we take a small hit 
ourselves, we need to think about the larger picture, one of which is the PR 
attached to Botswana's ban, which can ripple on to many markets across the 
world, as a message that we all have a problem. It highlights the issue and 
stirs action in countries that care less than we do here.
  I want to understand the  CKGR situation more though, and in particular the 
trade you mention Mark. That I am sure we can stop.
  Also I am in the field right now, and don't have the act with me, but what is 
Section 46 please? I think we can work that as well if it is  the one logjam 
you elude to. 
  All the best

  On 6/2/08 14:00, "Mark Bing" <bing@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

    Hi Pete

    My opinion is that it is not a bad interim idea, till something else can be 
set in place that is a lot better than a total ban. It has its place to place a 
breathing space till a better solution is found.
    The problems are twofold as I see it. In Kweneng, one of the problem areas, 
there were 48 Lion shot in a 12 month period, and between April and July 2007, 
if I am not mistaken 12 were shot South of Khutse, including 3 collared 
animals. Killing collared cats is not permitted, yet it goes on, sadly at the 
researchers expense. All Lion research in Khutse has ground to a halt, as on 
last count there were only about 6 lion left in the park, which affects tourism 
and so on. The problem is that the cattle posts around khutse, and indeed 
kaudwane Village is very close, so this is a high conflict area. In this case a 
resolution could be found i am sure from the Professional hunting community. I 
am sure that in 2 to 3 years time, the lion population may have recovered 
enough to hunt in Kweneng, and if a hunter came forward from their association 
and offered to hunt an animal or 2 in the area, and give the monies ( trophy 
fee)  to a local NGO in the area, for development, the area would be more 
tolerant to Lion. Some of this monies could go to compensation provided animals 
are herded and so on. I think the hunting community needs to be more proactive 
    The second problem is the fast rush of animals ( Cheetah and Lion Cubs), 
that are going over the border to NW, from the Kalahari. Lionesses are shot, 
and cubs are captured. I have seen a person at the clinic in Verda who came off 
second best in moving a cub too large. This problem is complex, but is 
accounting for a serious sink in the cat populations in some areas. This trade 
gives a few individuals gains in the short term, but is not good long term for 
Botswana. It is a serious threat to the Transkalahari corridor.
    I agree with you that poisoning becomes a problem, but since 2007 there are 
much more severe strict laws concerning use of poisons, so should anybody be 
caught indescriminantly using them, they can get a lengthy jail term. 
Unfortunately again DWNP does not police areas outside their jurisdiction ( ie 
wildlife areas), so, in Ghanzi and the hyaenaveld, probably the central range 
for breeding Lappets, poisons are used frequently, usually Temek. The bird club 
as you are aware has been debating the vulture poisoning issues, which we agree 
are serious, and we need to address the Ghanzi Farmers assn on this. I think 
there will be poisoning hotspots identified, Ghanzi, Hyaenaveld, Kweneng. And 
truthfully there has always been poison usage there. 
    Now if section 46 of the national parks act were revoked, the DWNP could 
get a better conviction rate. BUT WEVE SPOKEN TILL WE ARE BLUE IN THE FACE ON 

    Farmer Education is central to the Lion Hunting ban, and the Poisoning of 
Endangered birds ( Vultures) in this case, as well as the cascade of Raptors 
like Tawnys, Bateleurs etc that get poisoned with them. There is a Rabies 
outbreak in some areas of the country at present. Rabies is disseminated 
amongst Jackal when they are shot on farms, or poisoned, and territories become 
available to fight over. On a farm where jackal are left, territories are 
stable and boundary demarkation is by scat and urine. There is very little 
fighting. Not so when Jackal are poisoned and shot. In Zimbabwe I had a 
pedigree Charolais breeder loose 9 bulls to rabies in one year, due to severe 
poisoning of Jackal on his farm. When he stopped teh practise the rabies slowly 
disappeared. This information is needed in Ghanzi, where jackel are always 
poisoned, and it is these poisonings that tend to kill lappets. 

    I do not think many communal cattle post owners poison much, and the 
Vulture will tell them when animals are dieing, so they can retrieve the meat.

    These are just my opinions as usual. None of these issues are easily 
resolved. DWNP needs to be more vigilant, but has little capacity, and is not 
really interested in the farming areas. Farmers often dont want to see long 
term implications to an action either. I dont think telling a ghanzi Farmer 
that the Endangered cape Vultures he just poisoned came from Namibia, and the 
cape would mean much either. He loves his cows and will exterminate all threats.

    Strangely though, a farmer will vaccinate his cows for Botulism every year, 
and incur a P4000 cost in doing so, and may still loose a few. These expenses 
and losses are accepted. He may dip his herd through summer and incur a P50 000 
cost. But he will accept losses  from gall sickness, as no system is perfect. 
When it comes to losses from jackal though, he will not spend any money, and 
will blast away at all jackals seen ( just like 4 generations before him have 
done). There will be no herder or guard dog, so no expenses are incurred and 
the reaction to the jackal is greater than his reaction to botulism. ( both in 
time and money) The fact that his management preference, that is killing all 
jackal has not worked seems irrelevant. However, if a farmer chooses not to dip 
his cows every year, and looses 10% of his herd a year, and 20% due to udder 
problems, and keeps up like that for 4 generations, he would go bancrupt. He 
would change his management technique to cope with the situation. Only wish 
farmers would see predators as part of the picture with farming, like disease, 
and calving problems. Preventing losses, rather than scattering poison and 
shooting and trapping will work.

    Hope this is useful Pete


      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From:  birdlife <mailto:birdlifemaun@xxxxxxxxxx>  
      To: botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx  
      Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 8:32  AM
      Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Report  on Setata Fence


      Hi  Rebecca,

      Please could you send  me a copy of the report on the proposed Setata 
Fence. I am on asdl and so  shouldn't have any problem receiving a 1.22MB file 
with pics and maps. Thank  you for keeping us informed on this and other  

      Does the Predator  Forum have a viewpoint on the lion hunting ban? At 
BirdLife, we are concerned  that the ban may lead to increased poisoning of 
predators and also vultures,  most of which are globally threatened. This 
happened following the previous  ban a few years ago. I know it is not possible 
to keep everyone happy all the  time, but would appreciate your views on the 
issue so that we know where you  stand.

      Kind  regards




      From:  botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx  
[mailto:botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Mosugelo
      Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 2:13  PM
      To:  botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Re: Fw:  Report on Setata Fence

      Hello  Rebecca

      Happy New Year! Could  you please send me a copy with maps! I'd be very  





      From:  botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx  
[mailto:botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rebecca Klein
      Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:55  AM
      To:  botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Fw:  Report on Setata Fence


      Dear all, 


      Happy New Year!


      Ive been asked to circulate this  report on the proposed Setata Fence to 
the Predator Forum. 


      All pictures have been removed due  to size. If you would like a copy of 
the document with maps send me an email  and I'll send onto you. It is 1.22MB 
in total.


      This development is of great  concern and we would welcome any comments! 
Please forward to anyone who may  benefit from this information.



      Best wishes for  2008.





      Cheetah Conservation Botswana


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