Endangered Species Day 21st May 2021
The EMS Foundation will be making a series of statements, the content of which is in the public’s interest. We are focusing our attention on the conservation of South Africa’s wildlife, especially with regard to the essence of the decision making processes.
Exquisitely beautiful and elusive, leopards unsurprisingly form part of South Africa’s so-called iconic ‘Big Five’, yet their current conservation status is a population in persistent decline and, alarmingly, they are extinct in 67% of South Africa.
According to peer-reviewed research papers human-mediated leopard mortality is widespread, especially amongst private agricultural and wildlife ranches in South Africa. Climate change, trophy hunting, illegal hunting, killing for skins,’ legal destruction’, revenge killings, by-catch from snares for the bush meat trade and lack of adequate protection from government, are pushing leopards in South Africa to the brink of extinction. Moreover, unreported and illegal killing of wildlife is widespread across southern Africa and therefore also extremely pertinent.
Nonetheless, it appears that the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment (DFFE) is attempting to appease the powerful hunting lobby by steamrolling through a trade and trophy hunting agenda of leopards without adequate scientific evidence.
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